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The Devil is in the Pamphlets: Witchcraft and Emotion in Seventeenth-Century England

angel and devil
Date: 7 August, 2014
Time: 5:15pm
Venue: Babel Middle Theatrette, The University of Melbourne

The links between English witchcraft and the Devil in seventeenth-century popular pamphlets have not been the subject of sustained historical analysis. My thesis focuses on the emotional interactions between witches and devils and a witch’s supposed motivations for succumbing to Satan. It has two objectives. First, to suggest that English witchcraft pamphlets challenge our understanding of English witchcraft as a purely malefic and non-diabolical crime and, second, to highlight how witchcraft narratives emphasised emotions as primary motivators for witchcraft acts and accusations. In this paper the phenomenon of the demonic familiar will be analysed, as will the concept of witchcraft as a type of conspiracy and the belief that witches slept with devils.

Charlotte-Rose Millar is a PhD Candidate in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and is based at The University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on early-modern English witchcraft, diabolism, popular print and emotional experience. She has published on the role of the familiar in English witchcraft and on the links between witchcraft and sexual deviancy. Charlotte-Rose has received two prizes for her published work.