Four-hundred years ago, innocent people by the masses were killed as an obsession to stamp out “evil” swept across the British Isles with James I of England/ VI of Scotland at the helm. Women were being accused of witchcraft. The amazing Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb investigates the events of this dark period in a documentary titled Witches: A Century Of Murder.
James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from July 24th, 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from March 24th, 1603 until his death in March of 1625. James became concerned with the threat posed by witches and wrote Daemonologie in 1597, a dissertation inspired by his personal involvement that opposed the practice of witchcraft.
A visit to Denmark sparked James’s interest in the study of witchcraft, which he considered a branch of theology. He attended the North Berwick witch trials, the first major persecution of witches in Scotland under the Witchcraft Act 1563. Several people were convicted of using witchcraft to send storms against James’s ship, most notably Agnes Sampson. James personally supervised the torture of women accused of being witches.
In today’s post, I am sharing the full two episode documentary mini series starring historian Suzannah Lipscomb which can be found on YouTube and also can be found on the U.S version of Netflix. I am not sure if it is available on U.K Netflix or not. Let me know in comments if it is! Thank you!
BOOK PICK OF THE DAY
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the acclaimed author of The Flight Attendant: “Historical fiction at its best…. The book is a thriller in structure, and a real page-turner, the ending both unexpected and satisfying” The Washington Post).
A young Puritan woman—faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul—plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense.
Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life.
But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary—a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony—soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.
A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.
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