Jennet Preston lies heavy upon me, cried Thomas Lister on his deathbed. We are told that his corpse bled when she touched it and Jennet was convicted of witchcraft. Was there really a satanic coven on Pendle side? Or was Jennet framed by Lister's son? And were the other witches actually caught up in a much broader and more disturbing pattern of religious persecution? In this best-selling account, Jonathan Lumby presents a remarkable series of new insights. By placing the events in their wider European context, he explains far more satisfactorily than ever before exactly why these disturbing events occurred.
Perhaps the best book about 17th Century witchcraft trials ever written. This work is not just about a couple of court cases in York and Lancashire in the early 1600s. It closely examines those cases in order to put them in perspective, showing the beliefs and superstitions about witchcraft in England and Europe during that era. The research and analysis of available local records are remarkable, but so is the three-page bibliography of contemporary and modern publications about witchcraft. Arizoniana, LLC on Amazon
"Relying mainly on a short booklet about the hanging of Jennet Preston for witchcraft published fifteen years after the fact, Lumby presents a modern interpretation the story of the Pendle Witches, seven women and two men hanged for witchcraft shortly after Preston's own condemnation and hanging in 1612. Many quotes from transcribed proceedings are scattered throughout the book. Lumby also places the story in the wider context of concurrent events in Europe, adding important information and interpretation to the events of the witch craze, including information about major players, religion - including a section discussing the overlap between spells and prayers - and politics of the day. The book includes a chronology, illustrations and portraits, family trees, and maps. " Reference and Research Book News, 2012/12.