Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany
By Lyndal Roper
Why this book?
Many historians have tried to show that beliefs in witchcraft had a logic to them and ought to be understood in the context of climate changes and harvest failures at the time, for instance. Roper´s book is so important because it returns to a close reading of the trial records and shows that there was something quite crazy going on in many of these fantasies about women boiling the bodies of babies they had killed or attacking one cow after another. She also argues that we need to explain why eighty percent of all accusations were made against women, and that this related to deep-seated fears about fertility.
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