Magic and gender

Authored by: Catherine Rider

The Routledge History of Medieval Magic

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781472447302
eBook ISBN: 9781315613192
Adobe ISBN:


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The relationship between magic and gender has received substantial attention since the 1980s when, in response to the rise of women’s history and gender history, scholars of early modern witchcraft began to examine why women were disproportionately likely to be put on trial as witches in many parts of Europe. Work on this issue has since taken a wide variety of approaches, from early analyses that focused on misogyny as the motivating factor for witch trials, to more sophisticated discussions that set witchcraft in the context of wider attitudes to the body, sexuality and gender roles in early modern society. 1 More recently, attention has also turned to the men who were accused of witchcraft, and the relationship between witchcraft and masculinity. 2

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