By the author of Accused comes “an entertaining as well as illuminating” history of Britain’s most infamous witch hunts and trials (Magnolia Review).
With the echo of that chilling injunction, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” hundreds of people were accused and tried for witchcraft across England throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With fear and suspicion rife, neighbor turned against neighbor, friend against friend, as women, men, and children alike were caught up in the deadly fervor that swept through villages. From the feared covens of Pendle Forest to the victims of the notorious and fanatical Witchfinder Generals Matthew Hopkins and John Stearns, so-called witches were suspected, accused, and dragged to trial to await judgement and face their inevitable and damnable fate.
In this “interesting, informative and insightful” book, historian Willow Winsham draws on a wealth of primary sources including trial transcripts, parish, and country records, and the often sensational—and highly prejudicial—pamphlets that were published after each trial. Her exhaustive research reveals just how frightening, violent, and terribly common the scourge really was, and explores the social conditions, class divisions, and religious mania that stoked its flames (All About History).