Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500-1800

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-17
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500-1800 is the first comprehensive study of Polish demonology examined together with the records of witchcraft trials in Wielkopolska. Wyporska's detailed exploration reveals many different versions of the witch: from harbinger of evil to much-admired housewife, shattering the assumption that the witch was universally loathed. Contemporary voices reveal an awareness of the dynamics behind the persecution and an intensely critical attitude towards abuses rife in the courtroom. This groundbreaking new work looks at the many reasons why individuals used witchcraft, accused each other and admitted to carrying out witchcraft. It goes behind the trials to discover narratives of abuse, power struggles, and the relationships between men and women in the early modern period.

Author Biography

Wanda Wyporska is an authority on early modern Polish witchcraft and the author of many encyclopaedia entries and articles on the subject. She has held scholarships at Hertford College, Oxford, UK, the Institute for Historical Research, and the University of Warsaw, Poland. She is currently working on a trilogy of historical novels.

Table of Contents

1. Witchcraft in Context: Histories and Historiographies
2. The World of the Witches: Confessions and Conflicts
3. Witchcraft and Gender: Intimate Servants and Excluded Masculinities
4. Framing the Witch: Legal Theories and Realities
5. Nullus Deus, Sine Diabolo: The Ecclesiastical Witch
6. Beyond demonology: Blame the Witches
7. Sceptical Voices: Ending the Era
8. Epilogue: Comparisons and Conclusions

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