Witches: The History of a Persecution - Nigel Cawthorne
This history spans the three centuries between 1450 and 1750, where over 100,000 people, mostly women, were prosecuted for witchcraft, magic, and devil worship in the UK and colonial North America, and tens of thousands were tortured and executed. It all begins with internal politics of the Catholic Church, and expanded to form the Inquisition and a craze for persecuting women and outcasts that continued well into the late 1700s as the scientific ideas of the Enlightenment slowly took over the popular imagination. Nigel Cawthorne combed historic documents, painting a picture of systemic misogyny, religious infighting, and legal process gone awry. Each chapter focuses on this grisly history in a different country, painting a vivid, scholarly picture of an era that isn't so very long-past and forgotten.