“Satanism and Witchcraft: A Study in Medieval Superstition” by Jules Michelet

"Satanism and Witchcraft: A Study in Medieval Superstition" by Jules Michelet

"Long out of print, Jules Michelet's classic study of medieval superstition has been reprinted in this edition to bring the general public's attention to one of the truly great sociological works of modern times.

Michelet brilliantly recreates the Europe of the Middle Ages, the centuries of fierce religious intolerance, the Inquisition and the Auto-da-fe. He depicts the barons, the great manors, fiefs and serfs… and the witches, hobgoblins and wizards of whom the masses lived in mortal fear. The serf, bound to the soil, had no rights… other than the right of owing body and soul to his lord. Even his wedding night was at the Baron's disposal, and the refusal of his bride to show favor to the Baron or priest might result in her indictment as a witch.

Michelet draws flaming word pictures of the witch hunts, the Black Masses, the reign of Satan, and the weird rites of the damned. Here is the age of unbridled pleasure and sensuality, of luxury beyond imagination and squalor beyond endurance. Here is the day when a girl might be accused of Witchcraft merely if she were young and pretty and did not survive the tests of immersion in water or boiling oil. Here is the day of beatings, floggings, tortures and summary decapitations.

The new translation has vividly recaptured the author's trenchant humor, scornful elegance and epigrammatic dash in language worthy of such a master.

This is indeed one of the great works on the Age of Darkness."