The dark side of early modern European culture could be deemed equal in historical significance to Christianity based on the hundreds of books that were printed about the topic between 1400 and 1700. Famous writers and artists like William Shakespeare and Albrecht Dürer depicted the dark side in their work, and some of the first printed books in Europe were about witches. The pervasive representation of these monsters and apparitions in period literature, folklore, and art clearly reflects their power to inspire fear and superstition, but also demonstrates how integral they were to early modern European culture.
This unique book addresses topics of the supernatural within the context of the early modern period in Europe, covering “mythical” entities such as devils, witches, ghosts, poltergeists, and werewolves in detail and examining how they fit in with the emerging new scientific method of the time. This unique combination of cultural studies for the period is ideal for undergraduate students and general readers.
- Illustrations from rare books on witchcraft and demonology
- An annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources
- Appendices address early modern supernatural art and artists who depicted the dark side as well as important historical individuals