By Malcolm Gaskill
Witchcraft is a topic that fascinates us all. certainly, from youth such a lot folks strengthen a few psychological snapshot of a witch--usually an previous lady, mysterious and malignant. yet why do witches nonetheless characteristic so seriously in our cultures and awareness? From Halloween superstitions to literary references similar to Faust and, in fact, Harry Potter, witches look ever-present in our lives. during this Very brief creation, Malcolm Gaskill takes a protracted old viewpoint, from the traditional global to modern paganism. it is a booklet concerning the strangeness of the earlier, and approximately contrasts and alter; yet it's additionally approximately affinity and continuity. He finds that witchcraft is multi-faceted, that it has regularly intended various things to varied humans, and that during all ages it has raised questions on the excellence among fable and truth, religion and evidence. Delving into court docket files, telling anecdotes, and difficult myths, Gaskill re-examines obtained knowledge, in particular in regards to the eu witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. He additionally explores the trendy reminiscence and reinvention of witchcraft--as historical past, faith, fiction, and metaphor.
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Extra info for Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
She and Alis spent their time in sewing, in silent reading of the Book, and in such of the domestic work as was not done by Lilith, who rebuffed all Alis’s attempts to be friendly. She had managed to avoid offending Thomas, who made a point of talking to her, but she saw that this was intended to distress his wife and knew he was not to be trusted. Not only was it a wearisome life, but Alis could not see that she was any nearer to finding her way to the city and her brother. If anything, she was worse off.
There was not a sound from the crowd. By the time he paused to refresh himself from the tankard passed up to him, the man wielding the whip was breathing heavily. Blood flecked his shaven head and mingled with the sweat running down his face and chest. The whipped man had sagged as far as the ropes binding him would allow; his back was raw meat. At some point he had turned his head so that his face was now toward where Alis stood. His lips were bloody where he had bitten them in his agony, and his eyes were shut.
Alis swallowed and said huskily, “I was there but it was too terrible. ” Her voice trembled. ” The voice was kindly, firm. “Sarah will be in no fit state to care for you, and as for Thomas—” The boy broke in angrily, “Grandmother, have a care. ” The Minister’s wife looked at him sardonically. “I am too old to guard my tongue now, Luke. And I will not be frightened into silence. Now come, let us go home. ” And so saying, she tucked Alis’s arm under her own and they made their way back toward the square.