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Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction

Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction [Kindle Edition]

Tracy Borman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


"Gripping… Stirring witchcraft, politics and sexual perversity into the cauldron of a superstitious age, Tracy Borman seasons her brew with suggestions of poisoning and the black arts." (Iain Finlayson The Times)

"Tracy Borman has written a thorough and beautifully researched social history of the early 1600s, taking in everything from folk medicine to James I’s sex life." (Bella Bathurst Observer)

"Spellbinding" (Daily Telegraph)

"Tracy Borman has written a superb history of the witchcraze in early modern Europe focusing around this one case. Her book is enthralling and accurate… In many respects this is a triumph of popular historical writing." (David Wootton Guardian)

"A tantalising history... A panoramic survey of the witch craze that swept through Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries." (John Carey Sunday Times)

Book Description

A tale of bloody witchcraft, which led all the way to James I's right-hand man

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3977 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (29 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CQ1D9YU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After reading her superb books on Henrietta Howard (mistress of George II), Elizabeth's Women (the women whose influence shaped Elizabeth I) and Matilda (the wife of William the Conqueror), I was fascinated by what would happen when Tracy Borman's brilliant and engaging writing style combined with the much darker theme of Witchcraft. The result doesn't disappoint in any way as Borman uses the story of the 'Belvoir Witches' - Joan, Margaret and Philippa Flower - as a window through which to examine the disturbing phenomenon of 'Witchcraft' during the seventeen century. As usual, Borman narrates the story brilliantly building suspense through the way in which the book moves back and forth between dealing with the detail of the Belvoir case and the issue of Witchcraft more generally. The evidence is meticulously presented and carefully examined with all Borman's skill for making the key characters involved really come alive in the mind of the reader. Once you start reading this book you will find it very difficult to put it down - truly 'history as it should be written' as Alison Weir said of 'Elizabeth's Women'. The versatility of Tracy Borman is quite extraordinary and it will be great to see what she turns her formidable mind to next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good interesting factual read 9 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I know the settings and history I'm from North East Leicestershire and know it's history and characters well done Tracy for a very good interesting read and the Audio Book is good to
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing study of belief in Witchcraft 15 Oct 2013
By Moon
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tracy Borman quickly engages the reader with her consideration of true-life witchcraft cases from the past. Not only does she examine the famous ones, but she also delves into lesser-known examples.
The detailed descriptions of torture and ruthless interrogation are not for the faint-hearted!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sensationalist 2 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book expecting an unbiased and objective account of the Belvoir witches.Sadly, I was hugely disappointed. Although apparently well researched and written in a clear, accessible style, the author's limited knowledge of witchcraft becomes apparent, resulting in several errors. For example, Henry Holland's 'Treatise against witchcraft' was not the first work published in England, nor was it a pamphlet. Similarly, England did not have the highest proportion of female suspects. However, the worst aspect of the book is that despite the author's bold claim that the 'Machiavellian' George Villiers, then marquis of Buckingham, 'would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries', no real evidence is provided to back up the claim that he arranged to have the earl of rutland's sickly youngest son done away with. Buckingham was accused of many crimes, and he and his family were derided and lampooned in numerous scurrilous ballads and poems, yet he was never accused of such a crime, nor were there even any rumours, despite being accused of poisoning King James I in 1625, along with his mother, the Countess of Buckingham and Prince Charles, later Charles I; a charge to which few reputable historians give any credence. The supposed evidence is purely circumstantial, and made to fit, presumably, to give more spice to the tale.
I cannot recommend this book, which I found sensationalist and prejudiced. If readers are interested in a work on witchcraft which is accurate and written without bias,then Malcom Gaskill's,'Witchfinder: A seventeenth century English Tragedy' is superb.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark but really interesting 3 Sep 2013
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
I love to read about events that I don't really know much about and whilst I was aware of the Witch Hunts in England (specifically the ones in Lancashire) I wasn't as up on the events that occurred within this title brought to the reader in a factual yet interesting way by author Tracy Borman.

Whilst explaining in great detail, the reader is never left to feel that they're getting too much information at once, the author brings it over in an easy to comprehend manner and when added to an obvious passion by the author to bring history to life all round makes this a great book to enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a good book to read with lots of history within in it. interested me in other historical moments and people within it which I will be looking into further.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical Horror 24 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tracy's book is as much about poverty as witchcraft, for the suffering of women often brought them to severe mental illness, when they needed charity not malice. Many were cold-bloodedly murdered, with full sanction of the state. Such a book does make one realise how lucky we are to live in more enlightened times, although we are not entirely out of the wood, for many recent events prove that fanaticism is not dead, and that horror gets ever nearer. Tracy's book teaches us never to glamorize history, for superstition was a pervasive killer; and no less a person that King James was a rabid, merciless witch-hunter. Her book is a historical horror: read once, and never forgotten. Recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SORCERY AND SUPERSTITION 24 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I only started this book a couple of days ago and have already become totally absorbed in the astonishing tale of witchcraft and its implications for women both in the UK and Europe not forgetting of course the persecution of these poor women in Salem in the United States. Despite the fact that I am only half way through I ordered two more copies this morning for Christmas presents. Bravo Dr Borman.
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