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Chapter: 'News from the Invisible World: The Publishing History of Tales of the Supernatural c.1660–1832' from book: Cultures of Witchcraft in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present (Book chapter)

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Book Series: Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic ISBN: 9783319637839 9783319637846 Year: Pages: 34 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63784-6_9 Language: English
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-23 16:26:06
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This chapter explores the transmission of tales of the supernatural during the very long eighteenth century (between c.1660 and c.1832). A genre of publications on this subject which have not been studied are those anthologies of supposedly true stories, usually relating to named people and places and sometimes dated, often each numbered separately, with relatively little discussion of their authenticity or significance, beyond perhaps a brief preface defending the reality of the world of spirits. A series of entrepreneurial publishers, mostly operating from Paternoster Row in London, experimented with anthologising these stories in varied combinations. Any attempt to analyse the stories must begin by unravelling the publishing history by which they were transmitted and (not fully studied here) modified and retold, as well as re-interpreted.

Witchcraft, Demonology and Magic

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ISBN: 9783039289592 / 9783039289608 Year: Pages: 160 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03928-960-8 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2020-06-09 16:38:57
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Witchcraft and magic are topics of enduring interest for many reasons. The main one lies in their extraordinary interdisciplinarity: anthropologists, folklorists, historians, and more have contributed to build a body of work of extreme variety and consistence. Of course, this also means that the subjects themselves are not easy to assess. In a very general way, we can define witchcraft as a supernatural means to cause harm, death, or misfortune, while magic also belongs to the field of supernatural, or at least esoteric knowledge, but can be used to less dangerous effects (e.g., divination and astrology). In Western civilization, however, the witch hunt has set a very peculiar perspective in which diabolical witchcraft, the invention of the Sabbat, the persecution of many thousands of (mostly) female and (sometimes) male presumed witches gave way to a phenomenon that is fundamentally different from traditional witchcraft. This Special Issue of Religions dedicated to Witchcraft, Demonology, and Magic features nine articles that deal with four different regions of Europe (England, Germany, Hungary, and Italy) between Late Medieval and Modern times in different contexts and social milieus. Far from pretending to offer a complete picture, they focus on some topics that are central to the research in those fields and fit well in the current “cumulative concept of Western witchcraft” that rules out all mono-causality theories, investigating a plurality of causes.

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