The History of Witchcraft
About This Show
The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; this podcast looks at how people explained the inexplicable, turned random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and how desperate communities took revenge against the suspected perpetrators.
While this might sound like a particularly morbid subject, I aim to present it in an entertaining, but informative, way. Of course, there are cases of genuine tragedy in this history of witchcraft, but with a gap of several hundred years, it's ok for us to find humour in the image of, for example, an Anglo-Saxon witch attempting to ward off the Norman invasion of England by exposing her buttocks. That didn't work very well, if you're wondering...Read more »
Most Recent Episode
032 - Never a Cross Left
The Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, did not exist in a vacuum. How could this man, who had no formal authority, tour South-East England and not only execute hundreds of 'witches', but find cheering crowds and grateful magistrates waiting for him? Today's episode will examine the possible reasons why the Hopkins witch craze was so exceptional in its scale and brutality.This episode primarily made use of the following texts:- Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, B. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (Oxford, 2013)- Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002- Elmer, Peter,Witchcraft, Witch-Hunting, and Politics in Early Modern England, (Oxford, 2016)- Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002For a full bibliography, please see the website: www.thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.ukThe Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.netFriends of the show, Pontifacts: https://pontifacts.podbean.com/Read more »