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The Bewitching of Anne Gunter
by James Sharpe | History
Registered by STP-921375 on 3/17/2006
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Safrolistics): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

13 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by STP-921375 on Friday, March 17, 2006

This book has not been rated.

"Synopsis
In 1604, 20 year old Anne Gunter claimed to be bewitched: she foamed at the mouth, vomited pins and went intro trances. Somewhat suspiciously, the three women accused of bewitching her were related to the two men murdered by Anne's father during a rowdy football match. They were tried for witchcraft and acquitted. But then Anne Gunter's father appealed directly to James I, who took a close interest in witches. The case was re-opened and the ensuing Star Chamber trial - with over 50 witnesses - revealed all. Here is a true crime story, investigated properly for the first time 400 years later. It reveals much about what village life was like in early modern England, about neighbourly relations, folk beliefs and the greatly misunderstood phenomenon of English witchcraft." 


Journal Entry 2 by STP-921375 on Saturday, March 18, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I am sending this out on a UK bookray. The participants are:-

Heathwitch
AnglersRest
dogsapples
neverbelilith
safrolistics
Lutrus
Rivercassini
Heaven-Ali
AFIR
tehuti
molekilby
kitkat8
bunnyhugger 


Journal Entry 3 by heathwitch from Glossop, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 25, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received today, and next on the pile after the current read. Thanks! :) 


Journal Entry 4 by heathwitch from Glossop, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 13, 2006

9 out of 10

This was a great read. I've read other books by the author (such as "Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in Early Modern England") and enjoyed those, so I expected to enjoy this one. I was not disappointed! It's a detailed examination of life in early modern England, early ideas about Witchcraft, and a fascinating exploration into village life and social connections.

Sending onto AnglersRest today. :) 


Journal Entry 5 by AnglersRest from Teignmouth, Devon United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning with two other rings, making my total 7! Thankfully I'm on holiday for the next 10 days! 


Journal Entry 6 by AnglersRest from Teignmouth, Devon United Kingdom on Friday, May 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I found this book to be a fascinating account of village life in early Oxforshire . My only struggle was that following my holiday work was simply frantic and I found that I was simply too shattered to read lots in one go. Sorry for keeping so long. In the post to dogsapples as on Tuesday 30th May. 


Journal Entry 7 by dogsapples from Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria United Kingdom on Friday, June 02, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received from Anglers Rest today - thank you, will try to read as soon a possible. 


Journal Entry 8 by dogsapples from Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Sorry I didn't find this very readable and skimmed through most of it. An interesting tale though and thanks to pennywhistler for organising the ring. it will be going on to neverbelith as soon as I've confirmed her address. 


Journal Entry 9 by perditaxknit from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received today, thank you :) 


Journal Entry 10 by perditaxknit from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 22, 2006

7 out of 10

Fascinating. It was a bit of a shock to the system reading a book written by a historian after three years out of academia, I found myself reading it as if it were a novel! It's a shame we don't really find out what happened to Anne after the trial, but that's history I guess!

PMing safrolistics now :) x 


Journal Entry 11 by perditaxknit from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 29, 2006

This book has not been rated.

safrolistics has asked to be skipped, so I'm sending it to Lutrus tomorrow :) 


Journal Entry 12 by Lutrus from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Sunday, July 09, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived from Neverbelilith yesterday - thanks. Looking forward to reading it. 


Journal Entry 13 by Lutrus from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, September 22, 2006

8 out of 10

I enjoyed this book and found it very interesting. May look out for others by this author.

Sending to Rivercassini 


Journal Entry 14 by Rivercassini from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, November 23, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe and sound today. Many thanks. Will try to get to it quickly. 


Journal Entry 15 by Rivercassini from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, November 25, 2006

This book has not been rated.

In recounting the events surrounding the alleged bewitchment of a young girl, living in a quiet, rural village in Berkshire in 1604, Sharpe provides a fascinating depiction of medieval life from an unusual perspective. The Bewitching of Anne Gunter is, in some ways, a very personal account of a small incident in the vastnesses of history. Sharpe however succeeds in demonstrating its connections with contemporary life and its consequences in the spheres of high politics, theology and cultural development that an incident which many have glossed over as an aside becomes a pivotal in both typifying and determining the early years of the 17th century.

Sharpe has a great story to tell as well. A young, seemingly attractive, girl, who suffers at the hands of her murderous and oppressive father, eventually finds release and, it is suggested love. Along the way, the reader finds football and murder, malefic witchcraft, satanic connections and an audience with the King at his glamorous Court in London. So far, it sounds a little bit like popular fiction. But this is, in fact, just what a history book should be: well-researched, well-written, enlightening and material.

Sharpe touches on so many aspects of medieval culture and society that it is difficult to encompass them all briefly. Those which stood out for me were his treatment of the distinctiveness of the phenomena of widespread belief English witchcraft in contrast to contemporary experiences in Europe and North America. He discusses in some details the psyche of medieval society, placing witchcraft firmly in a cultural context which, for the uneducated and half-educated at least include a belief in fairies and phantoms, demons and devils, and sympathetic and image magic sitting quite comfortably alongside a devote if irrational adherence to Christianity. The discussion of the emergence of printed material as an influence upon popular culture dates the phenomena to an earlier period than many histories, but Sharpe provides good evidence to support his case and convincing evidence of the impact of printed material in the case at hand. His treatment of the widespread perception that accusation of witchcraft was predominantly a manifestation of misogyny amounts to a debunking of conventional interpretations, making the book all the more refreshing and challenging. Perhaps of most interest to me however is the argument running through the books that the witchcraft phenomena of the middle ages was as much a response to religion as it was step away from it. Sharpe links closely the rise in belief in witches in England, and especially the emergence of a seeming connection between bewitchment and satanic possession, to the Reformation and its impact on the contemporary psyche.

So much was knowledge of witchcraft and possession inculcated in the folklore of the times, Sharpe argue, that those moved to feign bewitchment knew how they were expected to act and those that witnessed such bewitchment knew how to respond. Sharpe, of course, rejects outright any suggestion that witches actually existed. Yet Anne’s particular case provokes a reassessment of that conviction. There can be little doubt that she was a victim and suffered horribly. Her violent and painful fits, the swelling in her stomach which drove her to suicidal thoughts, her passing and vomiting of pins and other objects, amounts to an horrific account of cruelty and abuse. Her sufferings were not brought about by the three women she accuses of bewitching her but, according to Sharpe, by her father who was seeking to further a bitter village feud by having his enemies convicted of witchcraft. If a parent were guilty of inflicting such pain and suffering on their offspring they would be guilty of child abuse of the most horrific and unforgivable kind: is there a case for arguing that Anne father, Brian Gunter, was, after all, the ‘witch’ who plagued her?

I found this book quite gripping and very easy to read so finished it much more quickly than I expected to. Unfortunately, I haven't yet sought the address of the next person on the list, but I will do so now and get the book sent on as soon as possible.

Thank you to Pennywhistler for organising this bookray. I don't think I'd have ever thought of picking up a book such as this to read if it hadn't been for bookcrossing!

I've posted my review on amazon as well - in the hopes that it will inspire others to read this book. Go and take a look-see:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product//1861972318/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/026-0120386-4066069
 


Journal Entry 16 by Rivercassini at To another Bookcrossing member in By Post, By Post -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, November 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 11 yrs ago (11/26/2006 UTC) at To another Bookcrossing member in By Post, By Post -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Off in the post to Heaven-Ali. 


Journal Entry 17 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, December 01, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today, thanks I am looking forward to reading this it looks very interesting. I have just started a huge!! bookring book, but will read this after.

 


Journal Entry 18 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, December 11, 2006

This book has not been rated.

This is a fascinating read. The exploration of early village life, alongside that of seventeenth century witchcraft trials is really brought to life. What amazed me is just how much historian James Sharpe was able to tell us about these families that lived 400 years ago. A very readable real story from history that has been brought to life in a very acessible way.

I have the address for AFIR and will be sending on very soon. 


Journal Entry 19 by Heaven-Ali at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, December 15, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 11 yrs ago (12/15/2006 UTC) at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to AFIR enjoy!! 


Journal Entry 20 by AFIR from Filey, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, January 15, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received thru mail from Heaven-ali, many thanks. Sorry for late journal but the book got caught up in a house move and I've just found it. I'll read it next and journal it after. Many thanks for sharing.
AFIR 


Journal Entry 21 by AFIR from Filey, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 11, 2007

5 out of 10

Very much a research book and very well researched. I did not enjoy this book but read it as I always finish a book that I start!I've decided that there are too many good books for me to be finishing ones I am not enjoying.(It's an age thing!!)
The book reminded me a neuropsychologist's report that I have on my daughter, he repeated the same things for 36 pages, this book does the same.
Will pass it on as soon as I have the address. 


Journal Entry 22 by AFIR from Filey, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, May 06, 2007

This book has not been rated.

On it's way to molekilby, tehuti wants to be put further down on the list.
Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 23 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, May 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received yesterday, thanks pennywhistler for sharing. Thanks also to AFIR for sending along with something to nibble on and an interesting postcard! Will be read and passed on. 


Journal Entry 24 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, May 31, 2007

7 out of 10

I finished this book yesterday and found it very interesting and informative. I did find the first 50 or so pages a little bit of a drag, but these really set the scene for what followed. As a text book it does give you aflavour of the times, the context of the event and how it affected people's views.

Will pass on as soon as I have an address to send it. 


Journal Entry 25 by tehuti from Treorci, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, September 23, 2007

6 out of 10

Apologies for holding up this ring. Life is difficult at the moment and I've been neglecting reading and Bookcrossing a lot.

The book is an interesting account of a case illustrating the manner in which ignorance, superstition and hysteria could be manipulated for motives of revenge. I'm sure it is one of many similar happenings. The author has amassed a huge amount of material from his meticulous research and succeeded in telling the story not only of the main protagonists but of others involved more marginally in the case. The presentation is however very academic and I did find it rather too dry at times. 


Journal Entry 26 by tehuti at Pen and Wig pub OBCZ in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, March 01, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (3/1/2008 UTC) at Pen and Wig pub OBCZ in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Since I cannot find anyone else in the ray who is able to receive this at present, I am taking it to the BC meet in Cardiff 


Journal Entry 27 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, March 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Picked up from the Cardiff meet. I'll slot it into Mount Toobie as if it were a ray & have another go at finding the absent members when I have finished it. 


Journal Entry 28 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, March 30, 2008

6 out of 10

This was an interesting book which does more than it promises: as well as telling the story of Anne Gunter, it reveals a lot about the lives and philosophy of people in seventeenth century England, and demonstrates how an historian goes about finding such things out.

Unfortunately the strands are intermingled in a way which leads to much repetition and a rather dry style. Sharpe is anxious, particularly in the first half of the book, to acknowledge his sources and, while he manages to do so in a fluid way, it detracts from the both the tale and the description of the times. I found myself itching to re-write the book!

I'm sure I'll be seeing safrolistics reasonably soon, so I'll find out if she is now ready to read this having passed up her place in the ray the other year. 


Journal Entry 29 by Safrolistics from Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Northumberland United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This book has not been rated.

This books finaly caught up with me, so on to Mt TBR it goes! 


Journal Entry 30 by Safrolistics from Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Northumberland United Kingdom on Sunday, May 11, 2008

5 out of 10

Well I tried, but this book was just too dry for my tastes!
Not sure what I'll do with it next.....watch this space! 


Journal Entry 31 by Safrolistics at Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, June 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (6/20/2010 UTC) at Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

To be released to a fellow bookcrosser. 


Journal Entry 32 by Safrolistics at Rutherfords Coffee Shop in Morpeth, Northumberland United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (7/7/2010 UTC) at Rutherfords Coffee Shop in Morpeth, Northumberland United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This book has been donated to a charity sale in aid of funds for the RNLI 


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