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The Witches of Warboys
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About the Author

Philip Almond is Professor Emeritus of Religion in the University of Queensland, and is internationally respected for his work on religion and the history of ideas, especially during the English Enlightenment. His seven previous books include The British Discovery of Buddhism, Heaven and Hell in Enlightenment England, Adam and Eve in Seventeenth Century Thought and Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern England.

Philip Almond is Professor Emeritus of Religion in the University of Queensland, and is internationally respected for his work on religion and the history of ideas, especially during the English Enlightenment. His seven previous books include The British Discovery of Buddhism, Heaven and Hell in Enlightenment England, Adam and Eve in Seventeenth Century Thought and Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern England.

Reviews

'This is a splendid case-study, of the classic kind that tells a gripping story in order to illuminate major historical themes. The whole of Elizabethan witchcraft is concentrated into a vivid consideration of one Huntingdonshire trial and the events that led up to it. As the story unfolds, we are confronted with the horrific double problem of how people can come to believe in a monstrous untruth, and how they can persuade others to believe in it as well. Psychology, history and literary criticism all meet in these pages, and sixteenth-century demonology comes face to face with modern issues surrounding the ability of interrogation methods to reveal or distort truths. This is at once a compelling study of the thought world of Reformation-period Protestantism and one of the timeless psychopathology of confession. Philip Almond takes us quite literally to realms beyond reason, where the only alternatives confronting an enquirer are demonic possession, paranormal human powers or mental illness. Even if the truth of what happened probably lies beyond any person now living, what this book does establish, convincingly and disturbingly, is the universe of belief within which such a tragedy can occur.' - Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol and author of Witches, Druids and King Arthur and The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft 'The Witches of Warboys is a fascinating but neglected episide in the history of English witch-trials. Using contemporary texts and parish records, Philip C Almond pieces together the story with scholarly diligence, investigative determination, and the imagination of a dramatist. The result is an engrossing, frame-by-frame tale of fear, prejudice and persecution in a rural parish, with intriguing ramifications for the social and intellectual history of Elizabethan England. There are ghosts, devils and demoniacs, bizarre dreams, afflictions and accusations, harsh interrogations and sordid executions. Professor Almond is a trustworthy guide into this lost world of belief and brutality, stripping bare the alien cosmology and mentality of our tense and troubled ancestors.' - Malcolm Gaskill, Fellow and Director of Studies in History, Churchill College, Cambridge, and author of Hellish Nell: Last of Britain's Witches and Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy

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