Penguin Books, London, 1992. Paperback. 339 pages. Translated by Raymond Rosenthal. Small pencil bookseller notation on initial leaf, moderate shelf-wear and creasing to cover, with small fold/curling at one corner, otherwise Very Good.
“For centuries witches on trial admitted to taking part in gruesome ‘Sabbaths’, where they cast spells, worshipped a bestial devil, enacted obscenely blasphemous rites and even devoured corpses…
Many scholars believe that such confessions, often enacted under torture, were just a reflection of their persecutors’ fantasies Certainly, as Carlo Ginzburg shows, witch hunters adapted the stereotypes earlier used to discredit and persecute lepers and Jews. yet the vivid accounts of night flights and battles, found all the way from Scotland to Siberia, from historical detection excavates the essential truth about the witches’ Sabbath – a story that, it claims, is not just ‘one narrative among many, but the matrix of all possible narratives’. On the way to that challengingg conclusion, Ginzburg brilliantly reinterprets the tales of Cinderella, Oedipus, Archilles and King Arthur; he also illuminates some of the darkest corners of European history.”
“The oustanding European historian of his generation… this is a bravura performance” – Perry Anderson in the London Review of Books