Witchcraft/Witch Week (was Re: Rowling and religion in CL)
ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Mon Feb 23 12:38:51 EST 2004
In alternate histories, am I right in thinking it is common to put
modern witch-hunting as a result the Restoration never having
occurred, i.e. Britain is still under the Puritan Commonwealth or its
equivalent? I seem to recall this is the case in Orson Scott Card's
Alvin Maker series, and I have the feeling it is alluded to in Witch
Week (book at home, can't check, and in any case I think the "split"
between our world and Witch Week's is left somewhat hazy as I recall).
I don't know that it is all that unreasonable to assume that later
developments in Puritan New England would not have been carried out
as well in a continuing Commonwealth.
>>On Friday, February 20, 2004, at 10:28 AM, Rowland, Jennifer A B wrote:
>>> In Witch Week, I don't think any reference is made to religion-
>>> witches are supposed to be evil, but I don't think "servants of the
>>> devil" comes into it- although that must have been the idea
>>> originally, since the split in the worlds was in 1605, at which point
>>> King James was frothing at the mouth about witches.
>>Yes, he was. But, as Charles Williams points out in _Witchcraft_,
>>although he believed
>>in witchcraft, he never believed that any individual case he was
>>presented with _was_
>>witchcraft. Deluded old women, yes. Despised old women, yes.
>>[The Spanish Inquisition, whatever its other faults, had a good record
>> on witchcraft, too. It was Protestant Northern Europe that did most of
>> the burning, etc.]
>And in England it was always "etc.", because the judicial penalty for
>witchcraft was never burning. So it is slightly surprising that in *Witch
>Week* witches are burned in England; I suspect that when DWJ wrote it, she
>simply didn't happen to know that burning for witchcraft wasn't what the
>English did. Pressing and drowning and hanging aren't somehow as good
>theatre, are they? Not so much of a nightmare spectacular for children to
>have seen being done to their parents.
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