A History of the Pendle Witches and Their Magic: Wicked Enchantments Paperback – 19 Apr 2010
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for anyone who has a serious interest in the history of witchcraft, "Wicked Enchantments" is essential reading. What could have been, in less imaginative hands, a dull, academic tome is rendered an utterly compelling human tragedy, driven by Joyce Froome s infectious passion for her subject. By acknowledging the reality of magic in early modern Britain, Froome gives some power back to the victims of the witch-hunts; and yet, by exposing the flaws and contradictions within popular accounts of English trials, she also goes some way towards proving the defendants innocence. "
The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire, and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes on 18 - 19 August 1612, along with the Samlesbury witches and others, in a series of trials that have become known as the Lancashire witch trials. One was tried at York Assizes on 27 July 1612, and another died in prison. Of the eleven who went to trial - nine women and two men - ten were found guilty and executed by hanging; one was found not guilty. "Wicked Enchantments: A History of the Pendle Witches & Their Magic" by Joyce Froome is a 404 page compendium providing a detailed descriptive history that draws from an impressive variety of original sources (including books of major and court transcripts) to showcase the role of magic in the lives and culture of the time. Of special note are the photographs of magical objects that are a part of the collection held by the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornall -- and a modern family recreating seventeenth century spells and rituals. An original and seminal work, "Wicked Enchantments: A History of the Pendle Witches & Their Magic" is a rare and welcome addition to personal, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
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The author manages to bring the characters to life and although I cannot describe it as an enjoyable read it is certainly a fascinating one.