Comments: Real presences

I'm still convinced I got a 4 on the European History AP exam in 1980 because I had a paragraph in my documents based essay saying "of course, some of the people probably PRACTICED witchcraft, whether it worked or not." Of coures, I might have missed more of the multiple choice questions than usual, though . . . .

I am quite certain the historiography of witchcraft was dealt a blow it hasn't recovered from when someone chose the metaphor "witchhunt" to describe 1950s purges in America. I have a friend who does a good bit of research on the witch trials in 17th century Germany; he says that the difference between received opinion IN THE FIELD and standard interpretation in the roomful of specialists at a conference is as wide as any of which he is aware -- that is to say that even the average member of the professional has as bad an understanding of the state of the research as Hill.

Posted by Michael Tinkler at October 20, 2004 01:05 PM