Thu, 30 Mar|
Joseph Glanvill and Late 17th Century English Witch Beliefs
Glanvill's 1681 book Saducismus Triumphatus was a late, great bestseller of the witch hunts; this talk explores the beliefs, the man, the book, and the time.
Time & Location
30 Mar, 19:00 – 21:10
London, 33 Store St, London WC1E 7BS, UK
About The Event
The year 1681 saw the publication of Joseph Glanvill's book Saducismus Triumphatus, an instant bestseller which railed against the growing number of disbelievers in witchcraft. In this illustrated lecture, James and Sally North talk about Glanvill's ideas, English supernatural beliefs, and the battle of ideas the book prompted.
Saducismus is a queer book, full of witch trial records, paranormal activity anecdotes, and strange phenomena tales; but where it gripped thinkers was in its philosophical argument that immaterial things affect the physical world -- hence the feasibility of real evil witchcraft. It influenced many, including Cotton Mather of the Salem witch trials. Much later, in the 1920s, Margaret Murray used it as a source to argue for a pagan witch cult. In a two-part lecture, Sally North looks at the connections to the Somerset witch trials, and James North talks about the the battle over 'belief'. The two are founders of Holythorn Press, which is reissuing Glanvill's book in modern English, so a launch party follows.