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Vexed with Devils


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About the Author

Erika Gasser is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.


Vexed with Devils brings together a number of key attributes: an important topic approached through excellent research involving a broad range of early modern texts and secondary historical scholarship. Erika Gasser is to be congratulated on a broad and detailed survey of material, which is well-expressed and interesting to read. -- Marion Gibson,Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
While much attention has focused on the place of women in the witch trials, in Vexed with Devils, Erika Gasser...shifts focus to look at the lesser studied place of men in these incidents...[Her discussions]add additional depth to our comprehension of how issues of gender impacted not just the trials themselves, but also the broader societal discussion regarding the presence of witchcraft and possession in early modern society. * Reading Religion *
Gassers reading of these texts is close, careful, and extensiveGassers contribution to this scholarship is noteworthy. She provides a corrective to the direction that many previous studies took investigating mostly women, perhaps even women only- and failing to appreciate the attitudes about manhood that affected the outcomes of so many witchcraft cases. * Nova Religio *
Writing a few years ago, Alison Rowlands urged scholars to do more research into the 'extent to which the prosecution of witches was imagined, carried out, and justified as an expression of godly, dutiful, patriarchal manhood.' Gasser's book is a necessary response: a convincing treatment. * Times Literary Supplement *
Gasser argues that demonic and witchcraft possession cases throughout the Anglo-American world functioned as a form of social policing during the early modern period...Anyone seeking a fresh perspective on, and deeper understanding of, such possession accounts will not be disappointed. * Publishers Weekly *

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