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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more European view of the witch hunts.
This book is different from the majority of books covering this subject in that it doesn't just concentrate on British witch hunts or the infamous Salem witch trials. Instead it features a more general, international view of the subject and in doing so gives a far better insight into just how widespread the belief in, and fear of witchcraft was in early modern Europe...
Published on 6 Jun 2005 by Ms. H. Sinton

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting sourcebook in need of a good copy-editor
The writer begins this book by stating that is it not a revisionist history seeking to offer a modern explanation of the events it describes. It is simply a country-by-country account of witch trials roughly spanning the 15th-18th centuries, told directly through trial 'reports', prison letters of the accused, and contemporary accounts of the many thousands of...
Published on 12 Jun 2006 by P. A. Curran


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more European view of the witch hunts., 6 Jun 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution (Paperback)
This book is different from the majority of books covering this subject in that it doesn't just concentrate on British witch hunts or the infamous Salem witch trials. Instead it features a more general, international view of the subject and in doing so gives a far better insight into just how widespread the belief in, and fear of witchcraft was in early modern Europe. There are chapters covering the problem in France, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and Ireland. The author also includes a list of further reading which is useful.
Nigel Cawthorn has a nice, easy style of writing that makes reading this text more enjoyable. The downside of this book is that it is a little too graphic at times. It is enough to know that the poor unfortunates accused of witchcraft were often tortured and executed, without having every detail described. Overall though, an interesting read that is worth a look.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting sourcebook in need of a good copy-editor, 12 Jun 2006
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P. A. Curran "paul" (Tameside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution (Paperback)
The writer begins this book by stating that is it not a revisionist history seeking to offer a modern explanation of the events it describes. It is simply a country-by-country account of witch trials roughly spanning the 15th-18th centuries, told directly through trial 'reports', prison letters of the accused, and contemporary accounts of the many thousands of accusations, tortures and executions.

As such, it is more a sourcebook rather than a detailed exploration of the subject. If you want to know exactly how many people were tortured and executed in different European countries between the above dates, or harbour a fascination for the particular methods of torture used to elicit confessions (some of them absolutely gut-wrenching), this book will interest you. These narrow explorations do become a little tiresome towards the end, however, and you ache for a little more by the way of character. By far the most interesting details are the itemised bills offered to the condemned, charging them for the very wood which will be used to burn them alive and the feast for the inquisitors after each round of torture.

It is fascinating how everybody involved took their cut of the possessions of the condemned (inquisitors, guards, executioners, judges, etc.), and far from poor fortune-tellers and herbalists, many condemned witches were quite well-to-do people - which makes sense if you want some decent wine with the post-execution meal. The picture painted is one of witch-hunts as the way to make a fast buck (until you yourself are accused, of course).

As noted by a previous reviewer, the spelling and grammatical errors really do detract from the book. I have never read anything with so many copy-errors in my life, and this lends it a very amateurish feel. It's a pity really, because - despite the lack of any real list of sources - it does read like a text with a direct link to the source material.

A bigger publisher able to afford greater use of prints, more judicious editing, and better copy-editing and referencing, could turn this into a pretty definitive historical sourcebook of the European witch-hunts. As it is, I would not condemn it outright, but there are much more professionally presented texts out there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but......, 9 May 2006
This review is from: Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution (Paperback)
It is full of grammatical mistakes. I am not one who usuallt goes fishing or such matters in books but in thi one they look you straight in the eye. This said, the book is a very interesting read and brings up case after case after case, and some intresting side-effects the persecutions.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome but try and put it down!!, 17 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution (Paperback)
This book is fabulous! Absolutely gripping, mind-boggling, gruesome but try and put it down. It makes you challenge the way you think about a lot of things.............and makes your stomach lurch at some of the cruel tortures you read about! Makes you count your blessings that you are born in this era and not that one! You cannot imagine the cruelties that existed unless you read of them from well documented sources.
Read it, get absorbed but dont let the kids find it! Yuk! Excellent read!
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Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution
Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution: The History of Persecution by Nigel Cawthorne (Paperback - 1 Sep 2003)
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