SATANISM AND WITCHCRAFT: A STUDY IN MEDIEVAL SUPERSTITION
Book Details + Condition: The Citadel Press (New York). First Edition softcover, 1939. 332 pages. By Jules Michelet. According to Michelet, medieval witchcraft was an act of popular rebellion against the oppression of feudalism and the Roman Catholic Church. This rebellion took the form of a secret religion inspired by paganism and fairy beliefs, organized by a woman who became its leader. The participants in the secret religion met regularly at the witches' sabbath and the Black Mass. Michelet's account is openly sympathetic to the sufferings of peasants and women in the Middle Ages. According to Michelet, in a note added to the end of the book: “The object of my book was purely to give, not a history of Sorcery, but a simple and impressive formula of the Sorceress's way of life, which my learned predecessors darken by the very elaboration of their scientific methods and the excess of detail. My strong point is to start, not from the devil, from an empty conception, but from a living reality, the Sorceress, a warm, breathing reality, rich in results and possibilities.” The first part of the book is an imaginative reconstruction of the experience of a series of witches who led the religion from its original form of social protest into decadence. The second part is a series of episodes in the European witch trials. Today the book is regarded as being largely inaccurate, but still notable for being one of the first sympathetic histories of witchcraft, and as such it may have had an indirect influence on Wicca. [Wikipedia] Firm binding; light wear to covers (and price-clipped); owner stamp to ffep, half-title page, and rear flap; interior is otherwise clean and free of markings.