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If you're on this page, then either two things have happened; first, you're already a fan of the show and have come for new episodes, information, or to contact me. If so, welcome back! Scroll down to find episodes of the History of Witchcraft, or look to the top of the page for information to contact me.

The second reason you might be here is that you've stumbled across a link in someones recommendation and are wondering what on earth this is all about. Simply put, this is the history podcast on all things magical, where we examine notable beliefs in witchcraft or the supernatural, and how these beliefs sometimes let to bloodshed. Fun stuff! If you want to know more, click 'About' at the top of the page!

About

 

The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; a way to explain the inexplicable, to turn random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and to allow desperate communities to take revenge against the suspected perpetrators. This podcast attempts to understand the cultural motivations behind these beliefs, as well as the actions taken against witches.

 

While this might sound like a particularly morbid subject, I aim to present it in an entertaining, but informative, way. Of course, there are cases of genuine tragedy in this history of witchcraft, but with a gap of several hundred years, it's ok for us to find humour in the image of, for example, an Anglo-Saxon witch attempting to ward off the Norman invasion of England by exposing her buttocks. That didn't work very well, if you're wondering. When we discuss particularly graphic events, which there sadly are in this topic, I will always try and give a warning at the start of the episode.

 

If you're curious about me, I am Samuel Hume, a post-graduate student in the final stages of my MLitt in Modern History. I've listened to history podcasts for years, binging through the History of Rome and the History of England, both of which made me appreciate podcasting as a way to entertain and educate. As the range of podcasts I was subscribed to grew, I wondered whether I had what it takes to join their ranks, so here you are!

 

To write the podcast I make use of the extensive library provided by my university, and when I cover a new period or region I make sure to immerse myself in the historiography of the topic. While I mainly use secondary literature, since these academics have often done the hard part of researching for me, for key texts or for certain subjects I will refer to the primary documents. In the show notes of each episode, you should find a list of some of the main publications I've used in writing it, and I often refer to them in the episode itself. A full bibliography can be found below.

Opening Quotes:

001 - Hammer of the Witches

 002 - Sparks and Kindling

003 - Heartland of the Witch Craze

004 - Reigns of Terror

005 - "I have forgiven the Devil"

 

006 - The Synagogue of Satan

007 - To Kill a King

None

008 - James Stuart - The Cradle King

I should ill fulfill the office of a faithful cousin or an affectionate friend if I did not ... tell you what all the world is thinking. Men say that, instead of seizing the murderers, you are looking through your fingers while they escape; that you will not seek revenge on those who have done you so much pleasure, as though the deed would never have taken place had not the doers of it been assured of impunity. For myself, I beg you to believe that I would not harbour such a thought." - Elizabeth, Queen of England, to Mary, Queen of Scots, on rumours of her involvement in the death of her husband, Lord Darnley

009 - James Stuart - The Devil's Greatest Enemy

Bibliography

Primary Documents and Contemporary Publications

General / Non-Region Specific

Germany/Holy Roman Empire

British Isles

France and Switzerland

 

Sound Effects and Music attributions, used under the Creative Commons license.

Kevin MacLeod:

Art of Escapism:

Karstenholymol: