Literally unthinkable?

Demonological descriptions of male witches

in Male witches in early modern Europe

The body of witchcraft literature is much too large to permit a complete survey; there is, however, a smaller group of works that could be considered canonical, at least from the perspective of contemporary scholarship. This chapter presents data compiled from ten of these canonical works, as well as a brief discussion of demonological illustrations. Stuart Clark's statement that demonological theory about gender and witchcraft did not conform to the patterns of prosecution appears somewhat too broad. Clark's conclusions are similar to those of Eric Wilson, whose Cambridge dissertation is the first modern study in English of the Malleus maleficarum. Both Clark and Wilson suggest that early modern demonology was sex-specific and thus different from witchcraft prosecutions, which were merely sex-related.

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