Witch Hunt: A Traveler's Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch

Witch Hunt: A Traveler's Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch

by Kristen J. Sollee


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“A transcendent travelogue with a wickedly delicious, feminist twist,” writes Pam Grossman (author of Waking the Witch)—Witch Hunt is a captivating guide to the historic witch hunts and how their legacy continues to impact us today.”

Traveling through cities and sites across Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Kristen J. Sollée—a second-generation witch herself—explores the witch as a figure of female power and persecution. By infusing an adventurous first-person narrative with extensive research and imaginative historical fiction, Witch Hunt captures the magic of travel to make an often-overlooked period of history come alive.

Between the 15th-17th centuries, a confluence of political, economic, and religious factors inspired witch hysteria to ignite like wildfire across Europe, and, later, parts of America. At the heart of the witch hunts were often dangerous misconceptions about femininity and female sexuality, and women were disproportionately punished as a result. Today, this lineage of oppression remains an important reference point through which we can contemplate women’s rights—and human rights—in the Western world and beyond.

Witch Hunt isn’t only an exploration of the horrors of history, but also uncovers how the archetype of the witch has been rehabilitated. For witches are not just haunting figures of the past; the witch is also a liberatory icon and identity of the present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578636990
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 10/12/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 230,597
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kristen J. Sollée is the author of three books on the legacy of the witch. A writer, curator, and educator exploring the intersections of art, sex, and culture, Kristen has lectured at George Washington University, the University of Southern California, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and across the US and Europe. Her 2017 book, Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive was described by The Guardian as “a whirlwind history of the witch in America” and a “Must-Read” by BUST. Kristen’s work has also been featured in NYLON, Hazlitt, the Times Literary Supplement, and on VicelandHuffington Post Live, and NPR. She currently teaches at The New School in New York City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Blood Stregoneria, Sex Magic (Florence, Italy) 9

Divination Nation (Florence and Bologna, Italy) 23

Saints and Sorceresses (Siena, Italy) 33

Midsummer in Liguria (Triora and Genoa, Italy) 39

A Witch's Guide to the Vatican (Vatican City) 47

The Iron Maiden (Rouen, France) 55

Necromance in the City of Lights (Paris, France) 69

The German Witchscape (Harz Mountains, Germany) 85

Terror and Transformation in Bavaria (Bamberg, Germany) 105

Pagan Past and Pagan Presence (Kilkenny, Ireland) 117

Sowing Seeds, Altered States (London, England) 127

The Ghosts of Malkin Tower (Lancashire, England) 139

The Passion of King James (Edinburgh, Scotland) 153

Witches of America (Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia) 165

Maritime Maleficia (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) 177

Rituals of Remembrance (Hartford, Connecticut) 185

Halloween in Witch City (Salem, Massachusetts) 191

Re-Enchanting Travel (Brooklyn, New York) 203

Travel Resources 211

Bibliography 235

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