In this slim volume, Rita Voltmer undertakes to survey historical European witchcraft. Unlike most other such surveys, which typically develop a basically [End Page 116] chronological narrative that begins with the origins of various elements of witchcraft beliefs (harmful magic, diabolical pact, sabbath, etc.), follows these ideas through the years of major witch hunting (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), and concludes with the decline of trials and eventual intellectual discrediting of much of the witch stereotype in the eighteenth century, she instead organizes her survey around a number of myths and misconceptions about historical witchcraft that have persisted in popular, and in many cases in scholarly, understanding in the modern era; that is, from the nineteenth century onward. The result is both engaging and useful.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_bailey/30/