This is the reprint of the Montague Summers edition of Reginald Scot's "Discoverie of Witchcraft". Scot's treatise was first published in 1584, just at the height of the European witchcraze, and was one of the few published works that argued vehemently against the belief in witches and demons.
Scot argued that a belief in witches was fallacy and ran counter to the classical Christian view as given in the Canon Episcopi that stated that belief in witches and demonic magic was a delusion and that witches were not working in league with the Devil but were rather deluded persons who needed guidance in the ways of religion rather than death and torture. Scot goes on at length to discuss the illusion of supposed witchcraft and magic and that God alone, not Devils or witches, controls the elements and that he alone dictates the fate of men.
Scot, like his contemporary Johann Weyer, was met with hostility from the learned demonologists and theologians of the day. His work was condemned and ordered burned by King James I of England. Rather than being hailed as a rational and sensible humanist thinker for his valiant atttempt to stem the tide of the burnings of human beings, Scot was accused by some as promoting the heresy of Sadducism (a disbelief in spirits) while others dismissed his arguments and beliefs as being thinly veiled atheism and argued that witches were in fact real and dangerous and that the bonfires of witches must continue. The credulous and eccentric Montague Summers himself argues this viewpoint in his shamelful introduction. Summers even stoops so low as to essentialy accuse Scot and Weyer of Satanism! Nonetheless, Scot's work gave hope that some in the 16th century were not overcome with belief in witches and demonic pacts and was skeptical of the popular fears that devils and demons were lurking around every corner, waiting to inflict evil and death on the unsuspecting populace. Unfortunately, it would be another 200 years before the murderous pyres of the witchhunters were finally snuffed out.