This Isle is Full of Monsters: Shakespeare's Audiences and the Supernatural
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Devils crawled up from hell. Angels descended from the heavens. Sorcerers, fairies and witches moved amongst the audience. At the cusp of the Enlightenment, Tudor and Jacobean theaters were certainly places of enchantment.

But for the citizens watching the play, how much did the supernatural mean to them? Historian Jon Kaneko-James explores the supernatural world that formed the everyday life of the 16th and 17th century audience member: from the sorcerers who walked London's streets, to demonic possession, the portrayal of witches, and the surprisingly widespread English belief in fairies.

"This nice little book stresses that believers were a product of their time (which it analysises in an accessible way) not less intelligent than us post-Enlightenment types. And the tales of witches and the con artists who profited from them are terrific" 4/5 stars The Fortean Times


Product Condition: New
weight: 232
Product Code: l9j9FfS

Reviews

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Mark Hetherington
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
An Excellent Overview
This book provides an excellent overview of Early Modern attitudes toward the supernatural in England and Scotland. Taking Shakespeare as a starting point but quoting many other sources, Kaneko-James looks at three main areas - magicians (not the stage variety), witches and fairies. If I have a minor quibble it is that the section on magicians is as long as the other two combined, I'd have liked to read more on the feelings toward witches and fairies but I suspect these have been more fully covered in other books and the author didn't feel the need to cover that ground himself. A word of warning is necessary - when quoting his sources the author hasn't updated any of the language so if you're not used to reading Early Modern (i.e. Shakespearean style) English it could be a little daunting to read and the Scottish English even more so, but it really is well worth the effort.
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