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Frog in your throat?

Terry Eagleton: How to Purge a Demon, 9 May 2013

The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West 
by Brian Levack.
Yale, 346 pp., £25, March 2013, 978 0 300 11472 0
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... by 24 pounds of various substances twice a day for two weeks. (With admirable judiciousness, Brian Levack, the author of The Devil Within, warns that ‘the veracity of such reports can be questioned on a number of grounds.’) Some young women’s limbs grew so stiff that the efforts of several muscular men proved insufficient to bend them, while ...

Good History

Christopher Hill, 5 March 1981

After the Reformation: Essays in Honour of J.H. Hexter 
edited by Barbara Malament.
Manchester, 363 pp., £17.95, December 1980, 0 7190 0805 0
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Puritans and Adventurers 
by T.H. Breen.
Oxford, 270 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 19 502728 0
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On History 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sarah Matthews.
Weidenfeld, 226 pp., £10.95, January 1981, 0 297 77880 3
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Sociology and History 
by Peter Burke.
Allen and Unwin, 116 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 19 502728 0
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... credit’. It is magnificent: but it needs a lot of thinking about after the dazzlement is over. Brian Levack and Linda Levy Peck write about the reign of James I, a subject to which Professor Hexter returned recently with a devastating attack on the so-called ‘revisionists’: those who believe either that the English Civil War was an accident with ...


Perry Anderson, 8 November 1990

Storia Notturna: Una Decifrazione del Sabba 
by Carlo Ginzburg.
Einaudi, 320 pp., lire 45,000, August 1989, 9788806115098
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... these zones, the real epicentres of witch-hunting were Germany, Switzerland and France, where, Brian Levack has estimated, perhaps 75 per cent of all prosecutions occurred. The fundamental enigma of the European witch craze is the pattern of its development in time and space: why it erupted when it did, whom it attacked, why and how it affected ...

Thou Old Serpent!

James Butler, 10 March 2022

The Penguin Book of Exorcisms 
edited by Joseph P. Laycock.
Penguin, 336 pp., £12.99, September 2021, 978 0 14 313547 0
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... early modern French demoniacs, cites the use of an exorcism manual in a legal case from 1993; Brian Levack’s cultural history of exorcism, The Devil Within (2013), derived from his experience of fostering a child survivor of exorcistic abuse. High-profile outbreaks of possession tend to occur at moments of cultural turbulence, and it is tempting to ...

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