The Witch-Hunt In Early Modern Europe: Source Analysis

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During my study of witchcraft I looked into a number of sources to help me gain insight into the period of 1560-1660 in order to put forward a strong argument in my coursework. A valuable source was Levack “The witch-hunt in early modern Europe”. It offers the reader a thorough and objective examination of witch-hunts and is consistent with the numbers of explanations given from religion to the misogynistic argument. The explanations provided are both easy to understand and therefore have been beneficial to help me form my own conclusions. His book is easily followed with its layout of various tables, charts and references to specific witch-hunt episodes in addition to a bibliography provided for further research.

Andrew Pickering (‘Different Interpretations of Witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe 1560-1660’) was also useful in providing a number of balanced arguments for a range of factors including the ‘Age of Anxiety’ and Reformation period, which both heavily influenced the witch-hunts. The source overall was engaging and accessible which encouraged myself to gain in depth insight on the decline and end of witch-hunts for my coursework. However, it can be argued for being too simplistic when considering the impact of certain interpretations such as the impact of catastrophe.

A further source I found extremely informative was
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The website on the gendercide was less helpful for gaining a understanding of witchcraft, however, when looking at the involvement of misogyny this source was extremely detailed in providing information with the background to this period and forming their own conclusions on who was responsible. Although this could be biased because the website wholly revolved around how the gendercides affect the witch-hunts, it helped to form my own perspective on how misogyny impacted the
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