Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in England, 1550-1750

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9780140130652: Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in England, 1550-1750

From about 1550 to 1750, witchcraft was a subject of serious intellectual debate, punishable as a crime by the courts, and accepted as a reality at all levels of English society. This overview of these two centuries analyses formative attitudes and assumptions under Elizabeth I and the early Stuarts. It examines possible explanations for persecution, from misogyny and the anxieties of civil war to economic tensions and local rivalries. It also looks at why increasingly sceptical judges, a changing religious climate and the rise of experimental science eventually led to the decline of belief in witchcraft.

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ISBN 10: 0140130659 ISBN 13: 9780140130652
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