I often wondered as I passed through Aldearn about the witch burning there. There is a bypass now so less scope for wondering
Now I know a bit more about the lady in question.
Too I wonder, if belief is the cause of nice people doing nasty things to others , or do nasty people use perceived beliefs to further their scope for doing nasty things to people..
On 31 Oct 2011, at 11:33, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> FYI....cross-post from H-Albion...
> "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'" George Bernard Shaw/Teddy Kennedy at the eulogy of RFK, 1968
> Emma Wilby. The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Shamanism and
> Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Scotland. Brighton Sussex
> Academic Press, 2010. xi + 604 pp. $125.00 (cloth), ISBN
> 978-1-84519-179-5; $65.00 (paper), ISBN 978-1-84519-180-1.
> Reviewed by Paul Jenkins
> Published on H-Albion (October, 2011)
> Commissioned by Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth
> Runnin' with the Devil
> In the summer of 1662, Isobel Gowdie of the parish of Auldearn in
> northeastern Scotland was convicted for witchcraft, bringing to an
> end one of the most extraordinary cases on record in Britain. At the
> heart of her trial was a series of four confessions recorded between
> April 13 and May 27. Celebrated for their vivid detail, descriptive
> power, and contentious, often lurid, subject matter, these
> confessions provide both an unusual and rich view into the liminal
> early modern world of witches, demons, and fairies. Isobel claimed
> that she first met with the devil in the church of Auldearn, whence
> she renounced Christ and was given the devil's mark, and, with her
> own blood, rebaptized in the devil's name. Thereafter she continued
> to meet and "run" with the devil and a coven of thirteen other
> witches on a semi-regular basis. Her confessions provide fulsome
> descriptions of flying over the countryside, indiscriminately
> shooting elf or fairy arrows at men, women, and beasts, on the
> devil's instructions; as well as meeting and feasting with the king
> and queen of the fairies at Downie-hill. Isobel also placed
> considerable emphasis on the practice of ritual magic, performed,
> again in the devil's name, for a variety of maleficent ends. Most
> significantly, however, Isobel's confessions link the fairy and
> demonic realms with unrivaled detail, offering a unique glimpse into
> the complex matrix of "high" and "low" beliefs in this pivotal
> period. It is an examination of this "interweaving" of popular
> fairy-lore and elite demonology that drives this provocative,
> well-researched study.
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