Anne Barstow, for instance, who employs the rhetoric of victimhood to great
effect, dedicates her book Witchcraze to ‘those who did not
survive’. 27 One
could argue that it is legitimate to refer to early modern witches as
victims if one is interested primarily in the perspective and experiences
of the accused.
On the other hand, there are several problems with this approach
victimhood. Witchcraft trials, perhaps paradoxically, have proven to be
fruitful sites for finding evidence of women’s resistance and agency.
Women accused of witchcraft resisted in various ways, including the
recantation of confessions made under torture. This very resistance,
particularly recantation, has led to some highly questionable
interpretations of witchcraft cases. On one hand, it is necessary to
recognise the possibility