The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations

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Overview

Throughout history the figure of the witch has embodied both male nightmare and female fantasy. While early modern women used belief and ritual to express and manage powerful feelings, the symbols and images surrounding the witch in the New World largely distorted the European views of Native American religions. In our own era, groups as diverse as women writers, academic historians and radical feminists have found in the witch a figure who justifies and defines their own identities. Examining texts from colonial narratives to court masques, Purkiss composes this fascinating study which goes far beyond the simple exploration of the figure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415087612
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/14/1996
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 A Holocaust of one's own: the myth of the Burning Times 7
2 At play in the fields of the past: modern witches 30
3 The witch in the hands of historians: a tale of prejudice and fear 59
4 The house, the body, the child 91
5 No limit: the body of the witch 119
6 Self-fashioning by women: choosing to be a witch 145
7 Elizabethan stagings: the witch, the queen, class 179
8 The all-singing, all-dancing plays of the Jacobean witch-vogue: The Masque of Queens, Macbeth, The Witch 199
9 Testimony and truth: The witch of Edmonton and The Witches of Lancashire 231
10 The witch on the margins of 'race': Sycorax and Others 250
Conclusion: bread into gingerbread and the price of transformation 276
Index 286
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