"A magnificent history. . . . Russell's survey of modern literature on the subject is in itself almost a major contribution, and his careful period-by-period and phase-by-phase description of the development of witchcraft through the fifteenth century is indispensable to any further serious treatment of the phenomenon in Europe."―Georgia Review
"The study of witchcraft is of more than fleeting interest. To understand this phenomenon is to acquire a more profound understanding of man, society, and self. Thus Russell's book is of singular importance. . . . With insight the author demonstrates how political, social, economic, religious, and intellectual developments either fostered or militated against the growth of witchcraft."―Church History
"Russell fills a real gap in the literature. He does so with the scholarly probity and sound good sense that arc the absolute prerequisites for any serious work on the subject, and he has composed his book for the general reader as well as the specialist. . . . In the course of his narrative Russell successfully lays to rest any number of erroneous 'well-known facts,' and he demonstrates that classical witchcraft was largely a creature of Christianity and that heresy was the strongest influence on its development as an idea."―History
"Russell's contribution will undoubtedly become a standard reference work on witchcraft. It is a clear, straightforward account resting on meticulous textual analysis and comprehensive documentation."―The Review of Books and Religion
About the Author
Jeffrey Burton Russell is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.