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England's Witchcraft Trials (ePub)

British History Social History England

By Willow Winsham
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 9.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781473870963
eBook Released: 7th September 2018


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Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

With the echo of that chilling injunction hundreds were accused and tried for witchcraft across England throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. With fear and suspicion rife, neighbour could turn against neighbour, friend against friend, with women, men and children alike caught up in the deadly fervour that swept through both village and town.

From the feared “covens” of Pendle Forest to the victims of the unswerving fanaticism of The Witch Finder General, so-called witches were suspected, accused, and dragged into the spotlight to await judgement and their final fate.

As featured in

The Countryman

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The Countryman

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The Countryman

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The Countryman

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The Countryman

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Family Tree September Edition

This book takes me back to the days when I would watch ghostly and supernatural-type programmes such as Most Haunted etc. This book covers 5 witchcraft stories including the Pendle Witch Trials and the Bideford Witches in some spooky details. These stories are all set in England obviously but we get some great writing and detail put into the telling of the stories and really shows the harshness and even bizarre way these women were treated. Having done further research into the way women and communities were treated and torn apart by these stories and allegations, it’s really fascinating. This is a good book and written very well with lots of research shown in the endnotes. In fact, if you go through the endnotes you can hone in on other pieces of work in order to do further research. As a basic introduction to Witchcraft in England, this is a great book I would happily recommend.

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UK Historian

Featured in

The Essex Family Historian, August 2019

The cover of this book is as rich as its subject matter. Providing a draw for the eye, the idea of looking through a keyhole into the lives lived by others can be both revealing and dangerous.

Reading the acknowledgements told me instantly how much research Winsham had done. Her passion alone for English history is quite evident and with five incredibly detailed stories, including Ursula Kempe and the infamous Matthew Hopkins, this book is a must for anyone else who finds history a treasure.

I liked that Winsham has researched Ursula Kempe’s character specifically rather than just focus on her witchcraft allegations. It means the reader gets to learn about the actual woman.

Covering several of the country’s most interesting cases, it is a fascinating read for those interested in history and folklore.

For the Love of Books

An excellent book on England’s witch trials, written by an author with a genuine passion and empathy for her subject. For instance, Winsham writes a brilliant piece on the case of The Pendle Witches in 1612.

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Hellbound, Steve Earles

Really good introduction to witchcraft trials in England. The author focuses on several of the more well-known trials (including Pendle) as well as looking at two of the best-known witchfinders. Highly recommend if you want to learn more about the subject, but don't know where to start!

Amazon Customer

Witches and how they were treated in the middle ages have always been a fascinating subject not just gor me but for anyone interested in the social history of England. Willow’s books fills in a huge number of blanks and reminds us of the obsessive behaviour towards them that was prevalent at the time.

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Books Monthly

I found it to be an excellent read, giving a solid introduction in to witchcraft and witch trials in England, and I'd highly recommend it as a good place for the curious reader to start.

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The Creative Historian

It is detailed and well-referenced, but lucidly written and an entertaining as well as an illuminating read, which sets to right many assumptions and misconceptions about witchcraft in English history... this is highly recommended not just for students of witchcraft, but for anyone interested in the social history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially its darker side!

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Magonia Review, John Rimmer

When a book is as interesting, informative and insightful as this, it's natural to be left wanting more, but frustrating to know more is only slightly out of reach.

All About History, December 2018

This is a book that rewards reading, with an extensive bibliography and notes for those interested in more details. I certainly recommend it to those with spurious ideas about witchcraft and the history of persecutions in England.

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Rosemarie Cawkwell, Blogger

About Willow Winsham

Willow Winsham brings readers regular tales of witches and witchcraft at her blog, The Witch, the Weird and the Wonderful. Combining a passion for research and history with a love of storytelling, she dedicates her time to investigating some of the most intriguing stories from the history of the British Isles. When she isn't digging out tantalising historical titbits or tracing elusive family members, she is busy writing historical fiction and home educating her two children.

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