Emotions and the History of Witchcraft

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Not all suspicions of witchcraft led to a formal accusation, and not all such accusations led to trials and execution. During the entire early modern period, the large, Lutheran duchy of Württemberg in southwestern Germany - where there were some 600 accusations - only 350 went to trial, 197 of which ended with burning at the stake. So what does this tell us about how people understood themselves and each other, the psychology and emotions of those accused, and how they tried to defend themselves?

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Laura Kounine, who has been studying how the community, church, and agents of the law sought to identify witches, and the ways in which ordinary men and women fought for their lives in an attempt to avoid execution.



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