The Poly

24 Church St, Falmouth : 01326 319461
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

What's On Calendar

Have a look at the calendar text here to see what's coming up.

Talks // Coming up // Wayward: Witchcraft with Marion Gibson
1 May
Wednesday
6:30pm

Wayward: Witchcraft with Marion Gibson

The world of witch-hunts and witch trials sounds archaic and fanciful, these terms relics of an unenlightened, brutal age. However, we often hear ‘witch-hunt’ in today’s media, and the misogyny that shaped witch trials is all too familiar.

In Witchcraft, Marion Gibson delves into the history of the witch trial but also their persevering relevance: witch trials have been twisted and transformed over the course of history, the definition of a witch reimagined and repurposed over time. 

Marion Gibson is Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at the University of Exeter. She is the author of seven academic books on witches in history and literature and Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials is her most recent book. You can find out more about it & Wayward Book Festival here.

Marion will be joined in conversation by Cathy Rentzenbrink. 

Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials

The world of witch-hunts and witch trials sounds archaic and fanciful, these terms relics of an unenlightened, brutal age. However, we often hear ‘witch-hunt’ in today’s media, and the misogyny that shaped witch trials is all too familiar. Three women were prosecuted under a version of the 1735 Witchcraft Act as recently as 2018.

In Witchcraft – a stunning hardback with 16 pages of beautiful illustrations – Professor Marion Gibson uses thirteen significant trials to tell the global history of witchcraft and witch-hunts. As well as exploring the origins of witch-hunts through some of the most famous trials from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, it takes us in new and surprising directions.

It shows us how witchcraft was reimagined by lawyers and radical historians in France, how suspicions of sorcery led to murder in Jazz Age Pennsylvania, the effects of colonialism and Christian missionary zeal on ‘witches’ in Africa, and how even today a witch trial can come in many guises.

Professor Gibson also tells the stories of the ‘witches’ – mostly women like Helena Scheuberin, Anny Sampson and Joan Wright, whose stories have too often been overshadowed by those of the powerful men, such as King James I and ‘Witchfinder General’ Matthew Hopkins, who hounded them.

Once a tool invented by demonologists to hurt and silence their enemies, witch trials have been twisted and transformed over the course of history and the lines between witch and witch-hunter blurred. For the fortunate, a witch-hunt is just a metaphor, but, as this book makes clear, witches are truly still on trial.

Wayward Book Festival: Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials with Marion Gibson 
 
Wednesday 1st May 6.30pm

Tickets:  £8 

All tickets have an additional £1 Poly Fund added at checkout.

 
Check times : Book now

Pic

Ria Lina - Riawakening

In the aftermath of a global pandemic, comedian and scientist, Ria Lina has had a Riawakening. ...

Find out more

Wildlife Around the Cornish Coast & Swanpool Nature Reserve

Join us at The Poly for two back-to-back films about Cornish wildlife made by local filmmaker Robert Mahoney. ...

Find out more

Seaglass Jewellery Workshop

Learn the basics of silversmithing and make seaglass jewellery in sterling silver. 16+ ...

Find out more
Contact us:

T: 01326 319461
E: info@thepoly.org

Address:

The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EG

Social Media:

Keep up to date with The Poly:

Icon Icon Icon


© The Poly - The Poly is the trading name of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Limited, a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales with company registration number 03909555 and registered charity number 1081199, with its registered office at 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG