This is the first academic overview of Irish witchcraft. It considers both beneficial and harmful magic, from the later medieval period up until the twentieth century, focusing on the period when witchcraft was a crime in Ireland, 1586-1821. It explores the dynamics of witchcraft belief and accusation, while explaining why there were few trials in early modern Ireland. It also deals with the decline of educated and continuing popular belief in witchcraft, from the eighteenth century onwards. It is further established that cunning-folk, commercial practitioners who provided a range of magical services including protection against witchcraft and fairy attack, were a part of popular culture in Ireland up until the modern period, despite the fact their activities were illegal and heavily criticized by Protestant and Catholic religious authorities. The way in which suspected witches and cunning-folk were treated by the modern Irish legal system (before and after repeal in 1821) is also covered.Biografía del autor:
Dr Andrew Sneddon is Lecturer in History at Ulster University, UK. He is the author of two previous books and numerous articles on British and Irish history, including witchcraft and magic. He has held research fellowships and awards from Queen's University, Belfast and the Wellcome Trust.
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