Ivan Bunn, "A Trial of Witches"
Routledge | 1997-11-24 | ISBN: 0415171083 | 284 pages | PDF | 2 MB
In 1662 Ann Denny and Rose Cullender were tried and hanged for witchcraft in the English market town of Bury St. Edmunds. Geis (criminology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Irvine) and English historian Bunn do an admirable job of recasting the tribulations of the two women in a trial they characterize as rife with error. Attempting to understand how this miscarriage of justice occurred, the authors examine witch hunts in America and Europe, finding that although more penalties were levied in France and Italy, nonetheless too many took place in England and America. They also discuss the behavior of the protagonists: Sir Matthew Hale, a distinguished legal scholar, and Sir Thomas Browne, a physician and author of Religio Medici. Although more narrowly focused, this scholarly book compares favorably with Richard Trask's Devil Hath Been Raised: A Documentary History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March, 1662 (Yeoman, 1997). Besides its obvious historical interest, this work is a commentary on uncritical acceptance of information of dubious worth. For large public and academic libraries.
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