on 22 July 2014
Yes, I rather enjoyed this: more so for the first half and some irony in the conclusion which, written about a century ago (it's now 21/7/2014), sums up the defunct superstitions of witchcraft whilst asserting the existence of a deity.
Many of the tales are amusing and the death count is considerably lower than the rest of Europe's per-capita persecution of witches with flame and torture. I particulary enjoyed a few tales of the hugely powerful Satan (who kills 10 people in the bible while Jahwey polishes off 2.5 million [lol]) being outwitted by tricks school kids would chortle at.
A trial of 1661 particularly impressed me for the following off-topic reason: I've always thought that Florence Nightingale was the first person to have that given name (check Mark Bolstridge's excellent biography), but here I learn that Florence Newton was accused of being a witch almost two centuries before the famous nurse saved lives with her non-contiguous cartograms: strange how pub quiz facts can be corrected when least expected.
This is a wonderful little book whose final tales are from the era of my great grandmother's first husband's death aged 21 in 1881. His death certificate names the reason as "visitation of god," at a time that our nations are ending slavery and quitting witch trials. This is a book that's narrow mortar between the brickwork of history, and well worth reading if only for that reason.
On another minor point, though I need to check the date of authorship and Teddy Rosevelt's presidency: I thought the teddy bear was named after him? Perhaps not, google's going to be visited shortly.
I hope you enjoy "Irish Witchcraft And Demonology."