Taking flight

A short history of glass viewed through the prism of Game of Thrones / Keith Thomas’s Religion and the Decline of Magic (subtitle ‘Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century’) is being reissued by the Folio Society in a typically lavish edition:

[Thomas] suggests that action against witchcraft became so widespread because of the dissolving of old social bonds in small communities. Rather than giving alms to vulnerable neighbours, the better-off, in their guilt, castigated them as witches instead. With the exception of notorious figures like Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, witchhunting in England was not supported by clerics and lawyers. Most judges were lenient: asked to condemn a witch, Mr Justice Powell in 1712 said that there was no law against flying.

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