Book: The Witch In History Early Modern And Twentieth Century Representations by Diane PurkissA symbol of everything that is dark about the past and woman, the witch continues to fascinate us in the late twentieth century. The Witch in history explores that
fascination and its manifold forms through court records, early modern dramas and the modern histories and fictions that draw upon them.
This book argues that in early modern England, the witch was a woman’s fantasy and not simply a male nightmare. Through witch-beliefs and stories about witches,
early modern women were able to express and manage powerful and passionate feelings that still resonate for us today, feelings that could not be uttered in a
seventeenth-century context: unconscious fears of and fury with children and mothers.
In our own era, groups as diverse as women writers, academic historians and radical feminists have found in the witch a figure who justifies and defines their own
identities. Then too, there are those who still call themselves witches in 1990s Britain, who still practise magic and who invent their own histories of witchcraft to
sustain them. Constantly reworked and debated, the witch is central to all these groups.
Looking at texts from colonial narratives to court masques, trial records to folktales, and literary texts from Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath, this book shows how
the witch acts as a carrier for the fears, desires and fantasies of women and men both now and in the early modern period. Diane Purkiss is Lecturer in English at the University of Reading.
Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):Margaret Alice Murray - The Witch Cult In Western Europe
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Diane Purkiss - The Witch In History Early Modern And Twentieth Century Representations