Witchcraft, the Devil, and Emotions in Early Modern England

Routledge, 14.07.2017 - 230 Seiten
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This book represents the first systematic study of the role of the Devil in English witchcraft pamphlets for the entire period of state-sanctioned witchcraft prosecutions (1563-1735). It provides a rereading of English witchcraft, one which moves away from an older historiography which underplays the role of the Devil in English witchcraft and instead highlights the crucial role that the Devil, often in the form of a familiar spirit, took in English witchcraft belief. One of the key ways in which this book explores the role of the Devil is through emotions. Stories of witches were made up of a complex web of emotionally implicated accusers, victims, witnesses, and supposed perpetrators. They reveal a range of emotional experiences that do not just stem from malefic witchcraft but also, and primarily, from a witch’s links with the Devil. This book, then, has two main objectives. First, to suggest that English witchcraft pamphlets challenge our understanding of English witchcraft as a predominantly non-diabolical crime, and second, to highlight how witchcraft narratives emphasized emotions as the primary motivation for witchcraft acts and accusations.


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List of Figures
The Devil in Early Modern England
Anger Malice and Emotional Control
Sleeping with Devils
The Witchcraft Conspiracy

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Über den Autor (2017)

Charlotte-Rose Millar is a UQ Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland and an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (1100-1800). She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2015. Millar has published numerous articles and book chapters on witchcraft, diabolism, emotions and sexual practices and has won two prizes for her published work. Her 2015 article on sexual relations between witches and devils has been labelled as the definitive piece on the issue.

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