A Discovery of the Impostures of Witches and Astrologers John Brinley 1680 hardback
First published in 1680, A Discovery of the Impostures of Witches and Astrologers by John Brinley is an important example and contemporary account of the establishment’s ideas, beliefs and debate surrounding the practices of witchcraft, magic and divination that lay behind the approved persecution of witches and other practitioners.
Revealed is an acceptance of the existence of witches, the reality of the Devil and the position of magic as deeply integral to everyday life, alongside a denial of the powers possessed by witches and the abilities claimed by magical practitioners such as the Cunning Folk. Belief in them is asserted to be the product of superstition, and the efficacy of their operations is attributed to the delusions and trickery of the Devil or the deceptions of the charlatan.
With kind permission of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, this edition, presented by Troy Books, is transcribed from an original copy held in the Museum’s research archive.
As closely as possible, the appearance and feel of the original text is carefully reproduced, alongside photo-plates of selected original pages for reference.
The present edition is issued with foreword by writer, researcher and assistant curator at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic; Joyce Froome.
The book is presented in a similar size and format to the original book, 105mm x 148mm and bound in gold foil-blocked dark brown cloth with fawn end papers and black head and tail bands and sewn binding. Pagination 144 pages on 80gsm cream paper stock + 4 pages B&W photo plates
Pagination: 144 pages + 4 pages B&W photo plates.
A Discourse on Superstition and Witchcraft
Chapter I, That most men are naturally inclin’d to Superstition, especially the ignorant sort.
Chapter II, That God’s hand is in all Crosses, who Ruleth over Devils and all their Instruments.
Chapter III, Several strange Diseases happen only from natural Causes, in which neither Divels nor any of his Instruments have any hand.
Chapter IV, That Devils may do mischief to man or beast, without any Association with Witch or Wizard.
Chapter V, That seeing Men , or Women, or Beasts may be Afflicted from some natural Causes, or that some persons may on purpose Counterfeit many things; or that the Devil himself may be the sole Worker, people ought to be cautious how they ascribe their Distempers, or Troubles to Witchcraft.
Chapter VI, That there be Witches.
Chapter VII, Of the ground of Witchcraft, and of all the Practices thereof.
Chapter VIII, That besides the forementioned open and express League, there are certain practices used by Witches, which imply a Compact without any form of words.
Chapter IX, The reasons and grounds of Witchcraft further debated on.
Chapter X, The Signs whereby one may Discover whether a Party be Possest or Bewitched.
Chapter XI, That Witches are not to be sought unto. The Conclusion of the whole work.
Being A Discourse of the Impostures Practiced in Judicial Astrology
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