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Demonological descriptions of male witches
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

the textual (grammatical) gendering of witches was consistent during the early modern period. Counting words may seem to be a strange way of uncovering textual meaning. We are more accustomed to what we might think of as qualitative approaches to language, in which we puzzle over the meanings and intentions of specific language choices; we do not usually quantify those choices.In this case,however,quantification provides a

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
witchcraft continued
Willem de Blécourt and Owen Davies

cases is already identifiable in the early modern period, if sensationalism was not already part and parcel of the very development of the press itself. The ingredients of witchcraft and popular justice, which were condemned by journalists and deemed offensive to middle- and upper-class norms, curiously mixed with a certain condoning through the provision of detailed descriptions, provided a cultural weight that exceeded mere

in Witchcraft Continued
Open Access (free)
Nuns’ narratives in early modern Venice
Mary Laven

London, based on defamation suits), or Stephen Haliczer’s Sexuality in the Confessional (based on the trials of Spanish confessors brought before the Inquisition for soliciting penitents).11 Both kinds of history have used trial records to recover voices from the past, from the whole spectrum of social and educational backgrounds, voices which would often otherwise be lost to oblivion.12 Colourful and copious as this kind of evidence is for the early modern period, an era of rapid expansion in the activity of the law-courts, it has proved to be a methodological

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
Negotiating vanity
Faye Tudor

through a redirection of the gaze, or by presenting themselves as adhering to a particular set of societal conditions. Herbert Grabes’s seminal work The Mutable Glass: Mirror-imagery in Titles and Texts of the Middle Ages and English Renaissance explores comprehensively the multiple meanings applied to the mirror in the early modern period, covering a vast number of exemplary texts from the period. He notes that the ‘various properties of mirrors’ were ‘frequently the chief stimulus for employing the mirror-metaphor’, and includes the ‘false or flatt’ring’ glass, which

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Open Access (free)
Eric Pudney

and argument, evidence was often open to interpretation, and whether a given proposition about an alleged witch was accepted or not might depend on a variety of local factors. Nonetheless, some broad generalisations are possible. One important point is that the late medieval and early modern period in Europe saw the emergence of a specifically Christian conception of witchcraft. Witchcraft belief, and laws against witchcraft, had existed long before this. But from the fifteenth century onwards, important people within the late medieval Church began to accept the

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
Open Access (free)
Beyond the witch trials
Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

hesitant to give the late- and post-trial years the same attention as the period of the rise and main phase of witch prosecutions. In particular, historians’ tendency to restrict their research interests within arbitrary, academically prescribed periods rather than within subject areas has meant that the interests of historians of witchcraft rarely continue beyond the early modern period. The category ‘early modern’ is part of the problem in a European context. It attributes a wide range of similar political, social, economic and cultural developments to the same

in Beyond the witch trials
The idioms and risks of defiance in the trial of Margaretha Horn, 1652
Alison Rowlands

councillors and for their increased concern with the women’s apparent defiance may have been a shift in their perception of what constituted a valid proof of possible guilt in cases of witchcraft. Generations of councillors and their advisers had long recognised that witchcraft, as a secret crime, was exceptionally difficult to prove at law.58 Throughout the early modern period they remained largely reliant on verbal testimonies and an evaluation of their relative credibility in order to arrive at verdicts in witchcraft trials, with the essential question remaining: who

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
John Marriott

fabled past. 10 Andrew Hadfield’s more introspective study of the impact of travel writing in the early modern period reveals how such works reflected on problems within the English body politic at a time of change. 11 Because of the uncertain status shared by writers of prose fiction, dramatists and travellers, they chose consciously to disguise what were often

in The other empire
Divine destruction in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
Chloe Porter

Britanna (1612), p. 1 Image-breaking as a means to an end The observation that iconoclasm may not necessarily lead to total erasure is significant for studies of the early modern period, given the continuing influence of Collinson’s view that early modern England moved from ‘iconoclasm to iconophobia’. 19 In his discussion of

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
Paul Salzman

Mandeville to the early modern period.) Joseph Hall’s Mundus Alter et Idem is a satirical account (complete with detailed maps) of the journey of Mercurius Brittanicus to a world of vice and excess. It begins with the lure of armchair travel: ‘Contrary to expectation, dear Reader, driven neither by storms nor by the never-ending tossings of waves, without winds, without sails, you have been driven to a new world.’21 The readers of travel narratives are teased into a satire directed both at travel itself and the imaginings of travellers, and also at the vices of the

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis