Presents an historical analysis of the Salem witch trials, examining the factors that may have led to the mass hysteria, including a possible occurrence of ergot poisoning, a frontier war in Maine, and local political rivalries.
Release on 2004-03-01 | by Gerald Brosseau Gardner,Gerald B. Gardner
Author: Gerald Brosseau Gardner,Gerald B. Gardner
Pubpsher: Weiser Books
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Thought to be the father of modern witchcraft, Gerald Gardner published The Meaning of Witchcraft in 1959, not long after laws punishing witches were repealed. It was the first sympathetic book written from the point of view of a practicing witch. The Meaning of Witchcraft is an invaluable source book for witches today. Chapters include: Witch's Memories and Beliefs, The Stone Age Origins of Witchcraft, Druidism and the Aryan Celts, Magic Thinking, Curious Beliefs about Witches, Signs and Symbols, The Black Mass, Some Allegations Examined. The Meaning of Witchcraft is a record of witches' roots-and a tribute to a founding pioneer with the courage to set that record straight.
Public Choice Economics and the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria provides an economics perspective on the witchcraft episode, and adds to the growing body of work analyzing prominent historical events using the tools of economics.
Originally published in 1947, it is the essential purpose of this book to investigate attitudes of leading Elizabethan and Stuart statesmen, ask whether witchcraft was of any importance in seventeenth-century English history, or even influenced the Great Rebellion. The reader is placed in possession of the more pertinent passages from the arguments used to support or discredit belief in witchcraft.
New England and Witchcraft in the Early Modern Atlantic World
Author: Paul B. Moyer
"While interpersonal, local, and regional contexts are critical to the analysis of witch-hunting in early New England, this book shows that a full understanding of the Puritan colonies' battle against black magic can only be achieved by placing it in a trans-Atlantic perspective"--
The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.
Tormented girls writhing in agony, stern judges meting out harsh verdicts, nineteen bodies swinging on Gallows Hill. The stark immediacy of what happened in 1692 has obscured the complex web of human passion which climaxed in the Salem witch trials From rich and varied sources—many neglected and unknown—Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum give us a picture of the people and events more intricate and more fascinating than any other in the massive literature. It is a story of powerful and deeply divided families and of a community determined to establish an independent identity—beset by restraints and opposition from without and factional conflicts from within—and a minister whose obsessions helped to bring this volatile mix to the flash point. Not simply a dramatic and isolated event, the Salem outbreak has wider implications for our understanding of developments central to the American experience: the disintegration of Puritanism, the pressures of land and population in New England towns, the problems besetting farmer and householder, the shifting role of the church, and the powerful impact of commercial capitalism.