Actually first published in 1926, this is an excellent general overview of witchcraft in its historical context. Summers was a Catholic priest and, as a result, he adhered to the point of view that magic, occultism and witchcraft are all dangerous and efficacious in producing evil. Whether we believe in the effects of magic or not is irrelevant to appreciate this study, for rather than waste space with scepticism it instead looks at the subject on its own merit. Whilst little evidence is actually offered in support of magic, many alleged incidents are related briefly which anyone with access to a large library could research further. Summers points out that whilst most magic can be explained away by illusion or deceit, there are still many cases which seem to have no explanation except a supernatural one (according to him).
There are seven chapters, which go into fair detail, including areas as diverse as exorcism (in which a full example text of which words to speak to cast out demons is included), to how the witch has been portrayed in plays and opera.
A very small portion of the text is in Latin and French, which is only sometimes translated into English. An excellent bibliography is included, which lists many books and early pamphlets in English, French, German and Latin. Overall, this is an excellent study which manages to be both diverse and detailed, and is also very interesting to read for an historical work. Definitely worth reading.