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Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy

Gaskill, Malcolm

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ISBN 10: 0674019768 / ISBN 13: 9780674019768
Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Hardcover in non price-clipped dust-jacket. 364 pages. Bibliographic References, Select Bibliography, Index. Illustrated, First edition. No previous ownership marks. No remainder mark. The story of the most horrific episode of savage witch-hunting which took place in East Anglia in the several years after 1645. A clean, square, fresh and unmarked copy. Mild crease to dust-jacket spine, else an as new copy. Fine in a near fine dust-jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 012746

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English ...

Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

By spring 1645, two years of civil war had exacted a dreadful toll upon England. People lived in terror as disease and poverty spread, and the nation grew ever more politically divided. In a remote corner of Essex, two obscure gentlemen, Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne, exploited the anxiety and lawlessness of the time and initiated a brutal campaign to drive out the presumed evil in their midst. Touring Suffolk and East Anglia on horseback, they detected demons and idolators everywhere. Through torture, they extracted from terrified prisoners confessions of consorting with Satan and demonic spirits.

Acclaimed historian Malcolm Gaskill retells the chilling story of the most savage witch-hunt in English history. By the autumn of 1647 at least 250 people--mostly women--had been captured, interrogated, and hauled before the courts. More than a hundred were hanged, causing Hopkins to be dubbed "Witchfinder General" by critics and admirers alike. Though their campaign was never legally sanctioned, they garnered the popular support of local gentry, clergy, and villagers. While Witchfinders tells of a unique and tragic historical moment fueled by religious fervor, today it serves as a reminder of the power of fear and fanaticism to fuel ordinary people's willingness to demonize others.

About the Author:

Malcolm Gaskill is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, where he is Director of Studies in History.

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