Witches: James I and the English Witch Hunts (Paperback)Tracy Borman (author)
In Belvoir Castle, the heir of one of England’s great noble families falls suddenly and dangerously ill. His body is ‘tormented’ with violent convulsions. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive.
It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland’s sons will not be the last to die.
Witches traces the dramatic events which unfolded at one of England’s oldest and most spectacular castles four hundred years ago. The case is among those which constitute the European witch craze of the 15th-18th centuries, when suspected witches were burned, hanged, or tortured by the thousand. Like those other cases, it is a tale of superstition, the darkest limits of the human imagination and, ultimately, injustice – a reminder of how paranoia and hysteria can create an environment in which nonconformism spells death. But as Tracy Borman reveals here, it is not quite typical. The most powerful and Machiavellian figure of the Jacobean court had a vested interest in events at Belvoir.He would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 235 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
Gripping… Stirring witchcraft, politics and sexual perversity into the cauldron of a superstitious age, Tracy Borman seasons her brew with suggestions of poisoning and the black arts. - Iain Finlayson, The Times
Tracy Borman has written a thorough and beautifully researched social history of the early 1600s, taking in everything from folk medicine to James I’s sex life. - Bella Bathurst, Observer
Spellbinding - Daily Telegraph
Tracy Borman has written a superb history of the witchcraze in early modern Europe focusing around this one case. Her book is enthralling and accurate… In many respects this is a triumph of popular historical writing. - David Wootton, Guardian
A tantalising history... A panoramic survey of the witch craze that swept through Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. - John Carey, Sunday Times
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