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EN2012 and EN3012 Drama and Witchcraft 1576-1642

Summer Reading List (2016-17)

Course Tutor: Dr Roy Booth

General Studies of Witchcraft History

  • Ahmed, Shokhan Rasool: see note of warning at the end of this bibliography.
  • Ankarloo, Bengt, and Gustav Henningsen (eds.), Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990). This book is chiefly important for its inclusion of the essay by Ginzburg (see below).
  • Barry, Jonathan (ed. and intro.) and Owen Davies, Witchcraft Historiography (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan 2007).
  • Barry, Jonathan, Marianne Hester, and Gareth Roberts (eds.), Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
  • Bayman, Anna, ‘ “Large Hands, Wide Eares, and Piercing Sights”: The 'Discoveries' of the Elizabethan and Jacobean Witch Pamphlets’, Literature and History 16, no. 1 (2007 Spring): p. 26-45. 
  • Bever, Edward, The realities of witchcraft and popular magic in early modern Europe : culture, cognition, and everyday life (Basingstoke [England]; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). ~ This book is remarkable for Bever’s willingness to argue that malign witchcraft was efficacious. He considers the effects of the available psychotropic drugs, and the psychology of the victim under stress from knowing or fearing that malign witchcraft was being used against them.
  • Bostridge, Ian, Witchcraft and its transformations, c.1650-c.1750 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1997). Before settling to his career as internationally acclaimed tenor, Ian Bostridge was an academic. His book appeared in the same year as Stuart Clark’s monumental Thinking with Demons, but stands up very well in the comparison, the insights and arguments of the two books confirming one another.
  • Briggs, K. M., Pale Hecate's Team: An Examination of the Beliefs on Witchcraft and Magic among Shakespeare's Contemporaries and His Immediate Successors (London, England; New York, NY: Routledge and Kegan Paul; Humanities, 1962).
  • Briggs, Robin, Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft (New York, NY: Viking, 1996).
  • Butler, Todd, 'Swearing Justice in Henry Goodcole and the Witch of Edmonton', SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 50 (2010), 127.
  • Clark, Stuart, (ed.), Languages of Witchcraft (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2001). (A collection of conference papers.)
  • Clark, Stuart, Thinking with demons: the idea of witchcraft in early modern Europe (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1997). ~ Ten years in the making, this monumental study broadened the understanding of what witchcraft meant in its period. Clark points out that witchcraft theory wasn’t confined to the work of demonologists, but was pervasive in the political and religious thinking of the day. Clark’s work is coolly rational - to the point of detachment. It is very long indeed, too long for students on this course to be expected to read in full, but he does the inescapable ‘Women and witchcraft’ topic at pp.106-133.. His conclusions will be mentioned in lectures, and his book can always be approached via its index.
  • Cohn, Norman, ‘The Making of the Great Witch-Hunt’, in: Breslaw, Elaine G. (ed.); Witches of the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook; New York UP, New York, NY (2000).
  • Cox, John D., 'Devils and Power in Marlowe and Shakespeare', Yearbook of English Studies, 23 (1993), 46-64.
  • Davies, Owen and Willem de Blécourt, Beyond the Witch Trials: Witchcraft and Magic in Enlightenment Europe (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2004)
  • DeRosa, Robin, The Making of Salem: The Witch Trials in History, Fiction and Tourism (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009).
  • Francis, Richard, Judge Sewall’s Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of a Conscience(London: Fourth Estate, 2005). ~ Using the diaries of Judge Samuel Sewall, Richard Francis’s approach to the Salem witch trials explains the participation in cruel injustice of a well-meaning man.
  • Gibson, Marion, Reading Witchcraft: Stories of Early English Witches (London: Routledge, 1999). (Marion Gibson presents lightly edited texts of primary materials.)
  • Gibson, Marion, Early Modern Witches: Witchcraft Cases in Contemporary Writing (London, New York: Routledge, 2000).
  • Gibson, Marion, Witchcraft and society in England and America, 1550-1750 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003).
  • Gibson, Marion, Possession, puritanism and print: Darrell, Harsnett, Shakespeare and the Elizabethan exorcism controversy (London : Pickering & Chatto, 2006).
  • Gibson, Marion, 'Thinking Witchcraft: Language, Literature and Intellectual History', in Witchcraft Historiography, ed. by Owen Davies (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 164-181.
  • Gibson, Marion, Women and witchcraft in popular literature, c.1560-1715 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).
  • Gibson, Marion, Witchcraft: Myths in American Culture (New York, NY: Routledge, 2007).
  • Ginzburg, Carlo, 'Deciphering the Sabbath' in Ankarloo Bengt and Gustav Henningsen (eds.). Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries (as above, pp.121-37).
  • Ginzburg, Carlo, Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches Sabbath (translation of his Storia Notturna, 1989) by Raymond Rosenthal, 1991. ~Speculative; immense historical perspective on those who thought they battled against 'the armies of the night', a thrilling book in itself, and though ultimately irrelevant to these plays and what they depict, it addresses one of the central mysteries of ‘witchcraft’.
  • Goodare, Julian, Lauren Martin and Joyce Miller, Witchcraft and Belief in Early Modern Scotland(Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • Hopkins, Lisa, and Helen Ostovich, Magical transformations on the early modern English stage (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, c2014). [On order, June 2015.]
  • Hutton, Ronald, Pagan Britain (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, c2013).
  • Larner, Christina, ‘Who Were the Witches?’ in Breslaw, Elaine G. (ed.), Witches of the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook; New York University Press, New York, NY (2000).
  • Larner, Christina, Enemies of God: the Witch-hunt in Scotland (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1981).
  • Larner, Christina, Witchcraft and Religion (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984).
  • Levack, Brian P., The Witchcraft Sourcebook (New York: Routledge, 2004).
  • Levack, Brian P., Witchcraft in Colonial America (New York, NY: Garland, 1992).
  • Lolis, Thomas G. ‘The City of Witches: James I, the Unholy Sabbath, and the Homosocial Refashioning of the Witches' Community’ in CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 37, no. 3 (2008, Summer): p. 321-337.
  • Lucking, David, 'Carrying Tempest in His Hand and Voice: the Figure of the Magician in Jonson and Shakespeare', English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature, 85 (2004), 297-310.
  • Macfarlane, Alan, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: a regional and comparative study (London: Routledge, 1970) ~ A closely sociological study, largely about witches in Essex. Analyses closely the progression from ill reputation or suspicion, to the bringing of the final charge of witchcraft. Argues that it was not usually a single extraordinary occurrence that prompted accusation.
  • Mackay, Christopher 'General Introduction' to his edition of Malleus Maleficarum (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) (301.542 Mal). Mackay’s superlative edition of Sprenger and Kramer’s notorious book, which became the point of reference for the Catholic church. 
  • Maxwell-Stuart, P. G., Witchcraft in Europe and the New World, 1400-1800 (Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave, 2001) ~ This brief account rivals Scarre’s monograph as a short introduction to the historical phenomenon of witchcraft.
  • Messadie, Gerald and Marc Romano, A History of the Devil (New York, NY: Kodansha, 1996).
  • Normand, Lawrence, Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2000).
  • Oldridge, Darren, The Witchcraft Reader (London, New York: Routledge, 2003). ~ Collection of important articles.
  • Parish, Helen (ed), Superstition and magic in early modern Europe : a reader (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
  • Pearson, Jo, 'Writing Witchcraft: The Historians' History, the Practitioners' Past', in Witchcraft Historiography, ed. by Owen Davies (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 225-241.
  • Purkiss, Diane, 'Desire and its Deformities: Fantasies of Witchcraft in the English Civil War', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 27 (1997), 103-132.
  • Purkiss, Diane, The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations (London: Routledge, 1996).  
  • Roberts, Gareth, 'The Descendants of Circe: Witches and Renaissance Fictions', in Jonathan Barry, Marianne Hester and Gareth Roberts (eds.), Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp.183-206.
  • Roper, Lyndal, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe (New York and London: Routledge, 1994).
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~. The witch in the Western imagination (Charlottesville; London: University of Virginia Press, 2012).
  • Rowlands, Alison (ed.), Witchcraft and masculinities in early modern Europe (Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 200.
  • Russell, Jeffrey B., A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans (London: Thames & Hudson, 1980).
  • Sanders, Andrew, A Deed without a Name: The Witch in Society and History (Oxford, England: Berg, 1995).
  • Schulte, Rolf and Linda Froome-Döring, Man as Witch: Male Witches in Central Europe (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) .
  • Sharpe, James, Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in Early Modern England (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).
  • Stephens, Walter, Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2002). Important study of how the demonologists thought, and what they were up to – the answer is in the title, fighting a ‘crisis of belief’, with the witch as witness to the existence of the supernatural world.
  • Swan, Claudia, Art, science, and witchcraft in early modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629) (Cambridge: New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2005).
  • Thomas, Keith, ‘The Relevance of Social Anthropology to the Historical Study of English Witchcraft’ in Douglas, Mary; Witchcraft Confessions & Accusations (London and New York: Barnes & Noble, 1970).
  • Thomas, Keith, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in 16th and 17th Century England (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1971). A major work of historiography: hundreds of sources contribute to his illustration of just about everything in English witchcraft. The source to use to read about familiars.
  • Thomas, Keith, ‘Possession and Dispossession’, in Breslaw, Elaine G. (ed.); Witches of the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook (New York University Press, New York, NY Publication: 2000).
  • Traister, Barbara H., ‘The Demonic Side of Witchcraft’, CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 35, no. 3 (2006 Summer): p. 395-406.
  • Willis, Deborah, Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and Maternal Power in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995).
  • Willis, Deborah, 'Magic and Witchcraft', in A Companion to Renaissance Drama, ed. by Arthur F. Kinney (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002), pp. 135-144.
  • Willis, Deborah, 'Shakespeare and the English Witch-Hunts: Enclosing the Maternal Body', in Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England, ed. by Richard Burt and John Michael Archer (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994), pp. 96-120 .
  • Wygant, Amy, 'Stagecraft and Witchcraft', Forum for Modern Language Studies, 43 (2007), 329-480.

Studies of Individual Plays

The Witch of Edmonton

  • Atkinson, David, 'Moral Knowledge and the Double Action in the Witch of Edmonton', SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 25 (1985), 419-437.
  • Atkinson, David, 'The Two Plots of the Witch of Edmonton', Notes and Queries, 31 (229) (1984), 229-230.
  • Barker, Roberta, ''an Honest Dog Yet': Performing the Witch of Edmonton', Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the Records of Early English Drama, 12 (2009), 163-182.
  • Butler, Todd, 'Swearing Justice in Henry Goodcole and the Witch of Edmonton', SEL Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 50 (2010), 127.
  • Brodwin, Leonora L., 'The Domestic Tragedy of Frank Thorney in the Witch of Edmonton', SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 7 (1967), 311-328 ~ please be careful about this piece of special pleading: her saying that Frank Thorney is the main role in the play does not make it so!
  • Comensoli, Viviana, 'Witchcraft and Domestic Tragedy in the Witch of Edmonton', in The Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Maryanne C. Horowitz (Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Cent. Jour. Pubs, 1989), pp. 43-60.
  • Dawson, Anthony B., 'Witchcraft/Bigamy: Cultural Conflict in the Witch of Edmonton', Renaissance Drama, 20 (1989), 77-98.
  • Garrett, Julia M., 'Dramatizing Deviance: Sociological Theory and the Witch of Edmonton', Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, 49 (2007), 327-375.
  • Hattaway, Michael, 'Women and Witchcraft: The Case of the Witch of Edmonton', Trivium, 20 (1985), 49-68.
  • Johnson, Sarah, 'Female Bodies, Speech, and Silence in the Witch of Edmonton', Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the Records of Early English Drama, 12 (2009), 69-91.
  • Nicol, David, 'Interrogating the Devil: Social and Demonic Pressure in the Witch of Edmonton',Comparative Drama, 38 (2004), 425-446
  • Pearson, Meg F., 'A Dog, a Witch, a Play: The Witch of Edmonton', Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the Records of Early English Drama, 11 (2008), 89-111
  • Stymeist, David, ‘ “Must I be … made a Common Sink?”: Witchcraft and the Theatre in The Witch of Edmonton’, Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance Et Réforme, 25 (2001), 33-53 .

The Late Lancashire Witches

  • Hirschfeld, Heather, 'Collaborating Across Generations: Thomas Heywood, Richard Brome, and the Production of the Late Lancashire Witches', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 30 (2000), 339-374.
  • Findlay, Alison,  in Robert Poole (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2002).

Dr Faustus

  • Nicholas Brooke, 'The Moral Tragedy of Dr Faustus' (in the restricted loan collection of articles photocopied under licence from journals not taken by RHUL)
  • Fletcher, Angus, 'Doctor Faustus and the Lutheran Aesthetic', English Literary Renaissance, 35 (2005), 187-209.
  • Hamlin, William M., 'Casting Doubt in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus', SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 41 (2001), 257-275.
  • Halpern, Richard,  ‘Marlowe’s Theater of Night: Doctor Faustus and Capital’
  • English Literary History: Summer 2004.Vol. 71, pg. 455.
  • Hawkes, David, The Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • West, Robert H, 'The Impatient Magic of Dr. Faustus', English Literary Renaissance, 4 (1974), pp. 218-240 ~Veteran author of The Invisible World: A Study of Pneumatology in Elizabethan Drama (1939) returns to the fray with a very useful corrective to accounts of the play that he sees as inadequately informed in demonology.
  • Wootton, David, ‘Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and the English Faust Book’ in Fitzsimmons, Lorna (ed. and preface) and Werres, Peter (introd.); x, 507 pp.; Lives of Faust: The Faust Theme in Literature and Music: A Reader (de Gruyter, New York: 2008).

The Witch

  • Daileader, Celia R., 'Weird Brothers: What Thomas Middleton's The Witch can Tell Us about Race, Sex, and Gender in Macbeth', in Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance, ed. by Ayanna Thompson (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 11-20.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen, 'Shakespeare Bewitched', in New Historical Literary Study: Essays on Reproducing Texts, Representing History, ed. by Larry J. Reynolds (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993), pp. 108-135.
  • Somerset, Anne, Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1997)

The Masque of Queenes 

  • Normand, Lawrence, 'Witches, King James, and The Masque of Queens’ in Representing Women in Renaissance England, ed. Claude Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1997).


  • Nosworthy, J. M., ‘The Hecate Scenes in Macbeth III. v; IV. I’, Review of English Studies, Vol 24 No. 94 (1948).
  • Levin, Joanna, ‘Lady Macbeth and the Daemonologie of Hysteria’, ELH, 69.1 (2002) 21-55.
  • Orgel, Stephen, 'Macbeth and the Antic Round', Shakespeare Survey: An Annual Survey of Shakespeare Studies and Production, 52 (1999), 143-153
  • Purkiss, Diane, 'Macbeth and the all-Singing, all-Dancing Plays of the Jacobean Witch-Vogue', inShakespeare, Feminism and Gender, ed. by Kate Chedgzoy (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 216-234.
  • Wills, Garry, Witches and Jesuits: Shakespeare's Macbeth (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
  • Winkler, Amanda E., O Let Us Howle some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006).
  • Ahmed, Shokhan Rasool, The Visual Spectacle of Witchcraft in Jacobean Plays. Googling for your texts will often lead to this book. You should note that it is a self-published work (via ‘AuthorHouse’). I do not know the academic status of the author, but he makes enough errors to convince me that he is to cited, if ever, with extreme caution, and always with a critical eye.

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