Early Modern Supernatural: The Dark Side of European Culture, 1400–1700

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ABC-CLIO, Feb 28, 2012 - History - 248 pages

The dark side of early modern European culture could be deemed equal in historical significance to Christianity based on the hundreds of books that were printed about the topic between 1400 and 1700. Famous writers and artists like William Shakespeare and Albrecht Dürer depicted the dark side in their work, and some of the first printed books in Europe were about witches. The pervasive representation of these monsters and apparitions in period literature, folklore, and art clearly reflects their power to inspire fear and superstition, but also demonstrates how integral they were to early modern European culture.

This unique book addresses topics of the supernatural within the context of the early modern period in Europe, covering "mythical" entities such as devils, witches, ghosts, poltergeists, and werewolves in detail and examining how they fit in with the emerging new scientific method of the time. This unique combination of cultural studies for the period is ideal for undergraduate students and general readers.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 The Devil and Devils
19
Chapter 2 Witches
55
Chapter 3 Demonology Possession and Exorcism
97
Chapter 4 Black Magic
123
Chapter 5 Ghosts Specters and Poltergeists
141
Chapter 6 Werewolves
157
Conclusion
173
Early Modern Artists Who Depicted Themes from the Dark Side
181
Biographical Notes on Some Notable Dark Side Experts
203
Notes
215
Bibliography
229
Index
241
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jane P. Davidson, PhD, is professor of history of art at the University of Nevada, Reno, NV. Her published works include A History of Paleontology Illustration; The Bone Sharp: The Life of Edward Drinker Cope; The Witch in Northern European Art 1470-1750; and David Teniers the Younger.

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