The Witches of Lorraine
By (author) Robin Briggs
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Witches of Lorraine by Robin Briggs
Book DescriptionBased on perhaps the richest surviving archive of witchcraft trials to be found in Europe, The Witches of Lorraine reveals the extraordinary stories held within those documents. They paint a vivid picture of life amongst the ordinary people of a small duchy on the borders of France and the Holy Roman Empire, and allow a very close analysis of the beliefs, social tensions, and behaviour patterns underlying popular attitudes to witchcraft. Intense persecution occurred in the period 1570-1630, but the focus of this book is more on how suspects interacted with their neighbours over the years preceding their trials. One of the mysteries is why people were so slow to use the law to eliminate these supposedly vicious and dangerous figures. Perhaps the most striking and unexpected conclusion is that witchcraft was actually perceived as having strong therapeutic possibilities; once a person was identified as the cause of a sickness, they could be induced to take it off again. Other aspects studied include the more fantastic beliefs in sabbats, shapeshifting, and werewolves, the role of the devins or cunning-folk, and the characteristics attributed to the significant proportion of male witches. This regional study makes a vital contribution to historical understanding of one of the most dramatic phenomena in early modern Europe, and to witchcraft studies as a whole, as well as illuminating related topics in social and religious history.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198225829
(240mm x 165mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 22-Nov-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Robin Briggs
Witches and Neighbours, Hardback (February 2002)
This text combines research with the author's investigations to produce an account of the role of witchcraft in the past. It argues that witchcraft - its belief and persecutions - cannot be explained by general causes but was as complex and changing as the society of which it formed a vital part.
Early Modern France, 1560-1715, Paperback (April 1998)
In the OPUS series, second revised edition of a history of France from the Wars of Religion to the death of Louis XIV. Incorporating new material drawn from recent scholarship, describes the major political events and analyses the factors influencing the evolution of state and society in this decisive period of French history.
Communities of Belief, Paperback (July 1995)» View all books by Robin Briggs
This social study of early modern France shows how the communal, oral culture of an older Europe came to be replaced by a recognizably modern culture. Robin Briggs examines the conflicts caused by social and intellectual change, and the tensions between the elite and the common people.
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