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Witches and Witch Hunts Through the Ages (ePub)

P&S History > Social History World History

By Phil Carradice
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 11.1 MB (.epub)
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781399071826
Published: 4th April 2024


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Witchcraft! Just the mention of the name is enough to cause fear, even terror, in the minds and hearts of many people. But that is not the full story. Yes, there have always been proponents of the 'dark arts,' witches and warlocks willing to use their powers for evil, but the wise men and women of the ancient and medieval world - men and women eager to use their spells and potions for good - have often been overlooked.

This book looks at witchcraft from the early days, tracing its development as a pseudo-religious cult, the good and the bad, from the wild plains of Babylon to the present day. It highlights witch scares and individuals, particularly the witch hunts of the medieval period when 100,000 women were accused of witchcraft and nearly 80,000 executed. It examines the concept of witch hunting, detailing the activities of men like Matthew Hopkins, the famous Witchfinder General.

The book does not just focus on medieval and ancient witches, it takes in modern witch hunting - with people like Senator Joe McCarthy during his Communist witch hunts of the 1950s - and the continued modern persecution of women and men accused of witchcraft in African, Indian and Caribbean states.

This is a detailed account of witches and witchcraft, in many ways a tribute to the thousands of men and women accused and executed without full evidence or proof of evil doing. It is a broad historical sweep that includes fictional characters like Morgan le Fey and Merlin, the magician of King Arthur's court. Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, it is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the social and political history of the past.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Witch Hunt." We here that word more these days than in the past. But what does it really mean? What causes the paranoia that makes inquisitions into one's neighbors and friends run rampant? This book explores the origins of witch hunts and how they're still used to install fear into the public. Anyone who's interested in history and especially history of witchcraft won't want to miss this.

NetGalley, Katherine McCrea

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Such a treasure of a book. I absolutely love taking a look at the darker side of history, and Witches and Witch Hunts Through the Ages really does that. Can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy!

NetGalley, Persephone Hawker

When someone hears witches - most automatically think of the famous trials that happened in Salem Massachussetts. However, there is more to witches and witch hunts than that - and they go further back than one might actually realize. From ancient to more medieval and into a modern setting - the author brings to the forefront the different fears which have borne the witchhunt craze.

This was a fantastic read, and full of great information.

NetGalley, Rebecca Hill

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One word FASCINATING !! I devoured this and learnt so so much.

NetGalley, Justine Lindley

This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read that provides valuable insights into the history of witchcraft and the witch hunts.

NetGalley, Kayleigh Meek

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Witches and Witch Hunts Through the Ages" by Phil Carradice offers a comprehensive exploration into the dark and fascinating history of witchcraft and the associated persecution spanning centuries. Carradice skillfully navigates through the intricate web of beliefs, fears, and societal structures that fueled witch hunts across different cultures and epochs. With meticulous research and engaging prose, he delves into the cultural, religious, and political contexts that shaped perceptions of witchcraft, shedding light on the lives of those accused and the often tragic outcomes they faced. Carradice's narrative is both enlightening and sobering, offering valuable insights into humanity's enduring fascination with the supernatural and the enduring consequences of mass hysteria. This book is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of witch hunts throughout history.

NetGalley, Madison Loveday

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a fantastic read, it had everything that I was looking for about witches and the witch hunts in the history. Phil Carradice has a great writing style and worked with everything that I wanted. It had that history element that I was looking for and thought it was a strong read.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is a well put together history of witches and witch hunts through history. It seems very well thought out and researched and when reading, I appreciated the level of detail and how the author pulls everything together. Well done! This book is essential reading for anyone interested in witches and persecution over time and how those things came about in modern culture and society.

NetGalley, Renee Pinkston

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This account explores the history of witchcraft, from its ancient origins to modern-day persecutions. Highlighting the often-overlooked wise women and men who used spells and potions for good, it also delves into the horrific witch hunts of the late medieval period and the social factors that fuel these practices.

I found this book to be a satisfying, engaging, and easy-to-read analysis of how human cultures respond to the unexplained, from healing practices to religious beliefs. The book does more than recount the history and the tragedy of past events—it also explores the complexity of human interactions and shows how modern society isn’t immune to these practices.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Every old woman with a wrinkled face, a furrowed brow, a hairy lip, a gobber (protruding) tooth, a squint eye, a squeaky voice or scolding tongue...a dog or cat by her side, is not only suspect but pronounced for a witch" John Gaule (1646).

This quote epitomises the stereotype of witches in the last few centuries, but what is a witch really? This was just the opinion of one clergyman in the height of witch-hunting hysteria in the 1600s, but in Phil Carradices fascinating book "Witches and Witch Hunts Through the Ages" we are taken on an extensive exploration through history to the ancient Shamans and the first perceived witch Lillith, and right the way up to the "Witch Hunt mentality" of McCarthyism, a dark time in US history.

Throughout, the writing style is engaging, explorative and intriguing, comparing perception to reality and manipulation of societal hysteria and the effects it has on individuals. An absolutely fascinating book and highly recommended.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

I really enjoyed learning about the history of witches and witch hunters, as someone who loves reading about the fictional witches it is also nice to learn about the actual people who practice paganism or wicca and those who were accused of witchcraft.
I would recommend this book to those who are interested in history and/or those interested in witches.

NetGalley, Kiara Esh

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Since school I have been interested in witches and the background of witch hunts and witch trials so it was fantastic to learn new information about witches and more detailed history than I had previously read.

NetGalley, A D

I've become a big fan of Pen and Sword Published works, and this book is no exception. I'm an amateur historian and I spend a lot of time doing research of niche topics that I find interesting, one of these being Witchcraft. I thoroughly enjoyed the content of this book, while also being delightfully engaged with the premise of discussing witch hunts in a more figurative sense. This book articulates what so many witchcraft scholars struggle to bring to the public's mind-- witch hunts weren't just about a moral turpitude in conservative societies, but it runs that gamut into some pretty far-flung conspiracies-- highlighting the dangers of groupthink and what it means to be afraid of questioning the loud and obviously wrong or improbable.

Thank you to the author, Phil Carradice, and the Publisher, for granting my wish and allowing me to access this book. I read it all in one sitting and I look forward to buying a physical copy for my collection.

NetGalley, Caleb Aarsand

About Phil Carradice

Phil Carradice is a well-known writer and historian with over 60 books to his credit. A poet, story teller and broadcaster, his most recent books are The Cuban Missile Crisis (Pen and Sword), The Call Up (Fonthill) and the novel Stargazers for Accent Press. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV, presents the BBC Wales History programme 'The Past Master' and is widely regarded as one of the finest creative writing tutors in Wales.

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