- Hardcover: 557 pages
- Publisher: Bonanza Books (January 30, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0517362457
- ISBN-13: 978-0517362457
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.4 x 2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology Hardcover – November 30, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
The trouble is that much of the scholarship contatined in this work is sadly outdated and lacks information on much of the recent work done in the field of witchcraft studies in the past 20 years. Also, Robbins' work suffers from the same problem that afflicted many other similar early witchcraft histories: bad translations and historical forgeries. It has been shown that many of the early translations of a number of Latin works on witchcraft (particularly those translated by the Rev. Montague Summers) are suspect. Also, several 19th century histories of the witchcraze and the Inquisition that have been used as source material by countless authors, including Robbins, have been proven to be forgeries, particularly the works relating the early 14th century Inquisitorial witch executions in France. Robbins' work has also been criticized by scholars for its lack of objectivity in its history. But this work still remains popular today and understandably so, as it contains many lurid and engaging articles on just about every aspect of the witch hunts from the 15th to the 18th century in Europe and North America. Despite many of its flaws, it is still a useful reference and for that reason it still gets 3 stars, plus I must admit, it maintains some of the mysterious aura surrounding the history of witches and demons that much recent scholarship has tried to dispel, and that makes it fascinating reading, if for the wrong reasons.
As the title implies we're talking about an encyclopedia, not a detailed and chronological book, but this did not hamper the book's ability to get inside my head, and touch it in a way that redefined the medieval picture I carried around with me. After spending a few hours going through the book, and picking out specific passages, I realized that I knew nothing about how people were treated not THAT long ago, when someone else accused them of witchcraft, and how hard (impossible) it was to prove ones innocence. A story in the encyclopedia tells of how a woman, owning a black cat was hanged, accused of witchcraft, for 'making' her neighbour's tea taste bad.
If you wish to have just some idea of how impossible it was to prove your innocence, once you were thought a witch, Luc Besson's 'Messenger: Joan of Arc', and the Blackadder episode 'Witchsmeller Pursouivant' will give you an idea of the hopelessness some of the accused must've felt.
The most horrible aspect of the book is the descriptions of how people were tortured back in those days. The only thing we can do is learn from books such as these to insure that such stupidity and ignorance won't be allowed to occur again.Read more ›
Although not as complete as it could be, and biased somewhat as the sources it is drawn from are not all "Witch, Demonoligist, Sorcerer-& their viewpoint related", this is still hands down one I would recommend to any "must have" list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
LOTS of info in this book. It really beats trying to sift through other books to get at what you want. I like it.Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey
This is not a how to book it is more a history of the witch hysteria. The information is classic and shows vividly how ignorance can lead to atrocities; much like what we are... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kevin Zurrin
nice book of subject inclusions of all, or most, persecutions and prosecutions of witches in American and European history. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jack W.
This is a great book that delves into the world of witches and demons. this is a book that take you through the centuries and shows how people and the Church dealt with the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Doc
This book is a wealth of information for any who are interested in either Religion, Witchcraft, Demonology (naturally, I know), and/or the occult. Read morePublished 11 months ago by wRecKaGe
This book wasn't what I thought I was getting. I expected more Encyclopedia of witchcraft and demons and less of a history lesson.Published 17 months ago by GoAskAlice
if you want to understand what the early catholic church priest was doing this is the book to read, dont let the title run you awayPublished 20 months ago by patricia reynolds
Good book but has a heavy mildew odor which makes it hard to enjoy like it was not stored correctlyPublished 20 months ago by bakerdeb