Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany

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Yale University Press, 2006 - History - 362 pages

From the gruesome ogress in Hansel and Gretel to the hags at the sabbath in Faust, the witch has been a powerful figure of the Western imagination. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries thousands of women confessed to being witches--of making pacts with the Devil, causing babies to sicken, and killing animals and crops--and were put to death. This book is a gripping account of the pursuit, interrogation, torture, and burning of witches during this period and beyond.
Drawing on hundreds of original trial transcripts and other rare sources in four areas of Southern Germany, where most of the witches were executed, Lyndal Roper paints a vivid picture of their lives, families, and tribulations. She also explores the psychology of witch-hunting, explaining why it was mostly older women that were the victims of witch crazes, why they confessed to crimes, and how the depiction of witches in art and literature has influenced the characterization of elderly women in our own culture.

 

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p. 189- mention of offinger

Contents

The Witch at the Smithy
1
Persecution
13
The Baroque Landscape
15
Interrogation and Torture
44
Fantasy
67
Cannibalism
69
Sex with the Devil
82
Sabbaths
104
Crones
160
The Witch
179
Family Revenge
181
Godless Children
204
A Witch in the Age of Enlightenment
222
Epilogue
247
Notes
257
Bibliography
327

Womanhood
125
Fertility
127

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About the author (2006)

Lyndal Roper is lecturer in history at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Balliol College.

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