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Paperback The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England Book

ISBN: 0415926920

ISBN13: 9780415926928

The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England

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Book Overview

In 1604, 20-year-old Anne Gunter was bewitched: she foamed at the mouth, contorted wildly in her bedchamber, went into trances. Her garters and bodices were perpetually unlacing themselves. Her... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

very good comapred to other witchcraft case studies.

First i would like to point out, as a PHD student in history I have read many case studies. Case studies tend to be overwhelming with facts, well that is the way history is supposed to be written....imagination is for fictional books, not history. Next, If you think the numbers, etc are overbearing...stay away from In the Devil's Snare. Last, compared to all case studies on witch craft that I have read this is well done. James Sharpe is very concise in his evidence unlike many others. He used just enough to show his point. Now for all of you or some of you at least who complained about things disregarding withcraft....I am sorry you missed the point of the book. What Sharpe is trying to do is show that there is a link between withcraft trials and domestic disputes. In a society that is hyper-sensative to non-Christian beliefs or "dark" arts, it would be easy to wipe out an enemy if you could convince local authorities of their guilt concernign witchcraft. That is precisely Sharpe's goal. He wants to show this link, and how it ultimately failed. If you missed that point, then I would suggest re-reading the book. If that thoroughly bored you I have a good suggestion. Read "Strange Revelations: Magic, Poison, and sacrilidge in Louis XIV's France" by Lynn W. Mollenauer. Mollenauer's book is wonderful and very enticing. Much more "exciting" than Sharpe's. She explores the use of magic, poison etc in the court of Louis XIV.

Informative, but not Bewitching

If you're looking for something sensational and dramatic like THE EXORCIST, you're looking in the wrong place in reading THE BEWITCHING OF ANNE GUNTER: A HORRIBLE AND TRUE STORY OF DECEPTION, WITCHCRAFT, MURDER, AND THE KING OF ENGLAND. Despite its lurid subtitle this is not a sensationalistic novel, nor is it a biographical narrative. It is, however, very informative. It's really a cultural history about witchcraft centered on the alleged bewitching/possession of a nineteen-year-old girl in early Jacobean (17th century) England. It tells use about what people believed about witchcraft at that time and place and proves that there wasn't a monolithic belief in killing witches. Different segments of society held different ideas about witchcraft.The important thing to remember is the girl, Anne Gunter, withdrew her allegations of witchcraft. Now what caused her to assert them in the first place? Her father. What were the social, economic, and religious ideas of the day that caused people to believe her? There are many surprising revelations in book. None more surprising to me than the different picture I got of James I of England (James VI of Scotland), who is usually portrayed as a rabid Bible-thumping witchhunter.So not a thrilling biography, but well worth reading if you are interested in the general milieu of the witchcraft hunts. This slim book of 238 pages has 9 chapters, Notes and References, and an Index.

One Witchcraft Trial Provides a Look at a Time

The Bewitching of Anne Gunther is a short book and a quick read that tells the story of one witchcraft trial and, yet, somehow encompasses a glimpse at a period of history. From the reviews from other readers I was not expecting much and was delighted that it was better than others have stated. It is light pop history but manages to touche on family relations, politics, views of witchcraft, village life (and disputes), poverty, and religion in the telling the story of how Anne Gunther and her father faked possession and witchcraft. This leads them (and the reader) from their small village to the court of King James I and then back again. A fun, light read.

Good historical view of witch trials

The author, a historian, obviously spent a great deal of time going over old records, letters, and anything he could find to gather information about Brain Gunter and his daughter, Anne, who was "bewitched" according to the accusations. By doing so, the author provides an encompassing view of the life and times and beliefs, and also explains how many people so easily accepted witchcraft accusations while others maintained their skepticism. All witch trials were not like those at Salem.
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