Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany

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Product Details
Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.02 X 9.24 X 1.1 inches | 1.26 pounds

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About the Author

Lyndal Roper is lecturer in history at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Balliol College.


"In this brilliant piece of investigative history [and] . . . thanks to Roper's patient and sophisticated work . . . we finally have a joined up history of the witch."--The Guardian

"Lyndal Roper is an original and insightful historian of witchcraft, and the publication of this major work is most welcome. Her style is fluent and accessible, but those who examine the 59 pages of closely printed notes will rapidly see the depth of scholarship that underpins her work."--Times Higher Education Supplement

"Where history meets psychology . . . Lyndal Roper is pre-eminent. This ambitious and subtle book is testament not only to Roper's skill in excavating stories from the German archives, but also to her imagination and determination in reading between the lines of examinations and confessions, venturing where historians fear to tread. . . . It is vital and irresistible to try to make windows on the souls of our ancestors, and in this compelling, courageous and inspirational work Lyndal Roper leads the way."--Malcolm Gaskill, Journal of the Historical Association

"Witch Craze presents a story of the ways in which mythologies of evil forces can lead people to carry out unspeakable acts that seems both very foreign and very familiar."--Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Victorian Studies

"An interesting outline of beliefs about the activities of witches in early modern Germany seen from a standpoint of psychological analysis, but from a standpoint that does not wallow about in jargon or unnecessary speculation. . . . [Roper] mercifully gets to the point with an ease of writing that is a relief to readers who all too often have to resort to plows to get through the verbiage. . . . This is an interesting book and one in which the author has provided her readers with a good selection of primary materials."--Jane P. Davidson, Sixteenth Century Journal
"Get to it immediately because, though it reads like a sensational novel, it covers in an extremely adept scholarly way a century of witchcraft persecutions in Germany. . . . It is also of great interest to all students of psychology, delusion and the madness of crowds, fear and fanaticism, life and law."--Chronique
"This book thus not only answers many questions, but also raises more--an indication of the intellectual vitality of the topic and of the author's broad engagement with it. It is a major work which must be read, not only by those interested in witch hunting in Germany, but by those in related fields. It has, indeed, much to tell us about the human condition as a whole."--Julian Goodare, Canadian Journal of History

"[A] fine book. . . . A major contribution to an already remarkable body of academic work. . . . [Roper] presents much well-grounded evidence to support her conclusions."--John Demos, New York Review of Books

"Deserves to be widely read. . . . Should ensure Roper's position as the doyenne of witchcraft scholarship for many years to come."--Journal of Modern History
Winner of the 2005 Roland Bainton Prize in the category of History and Theology, sponsored by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

"This is a major work that pushes the history of witchcraft in new directions and offers remarkable and sometimes startling new insights. Lyndal Roper breaks new ground in her remarkable, subtle analysis of the interpersonal relations among those caught up in fantasies of witchcraft."--H. C. Erik Midelfort, author of A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany