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Witchcraft and Its Transformations, c. 1650…
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Witchcraft and Its Transformations, c. 1650 - c. 1750 (Oxford Historical…

by Ian Bostridge

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0198206534, Hardcover)

This is an original and important study of the significance of witchcraft in English public life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In his lively account, Bostridge explores contemporary beliefs about witchcraft and shows how it remained a serious concern across the spectrum of political opinion. He concludes that its gradual descent into polite ridicule had as much to do with political developments as with the birth of reason.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:10 -0400)

This book is about the significance of witchcraft in English public life (c.1650-c.1750), and deals with contemporary opinion regarding its theological, philosophical, and legal dimensions. Ian Bostridge discusses civil war politics, the writings of Thomas Hobbes, the debate about witchcraft at the time of the Glorious Revolution, and the disputes surrounding the repeal of Jacobean witchcraft legislation in 1736. He also examines the work of less familiar writers and propagandists such as Richard Boulton, Francis Hutchinson, and James Erskine of Grange, and balances this account of the gradual demise of witchcraft theory in England with a comparative case study of the debate in France.Finally, by asserting that witchcraft remained a serious topic of debate well into the eighteenth century, and that its descent into polite ridicule had as much to do with politics as with the birth of reason, Witchcraft and its Transformations offers a lively critique of current interpretations of English popular culture and political change.… (more)

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