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In Defence of Witches: Why women are still on trial

by Mona Chollet

Paperback $34.99

$34.99

$34.99

What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women . . . Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way.' - Télérama

A source of terror, a misogynistic image of woman inherited from the trials and the pyres of the great early modern witch hunts – in In Defence of Witches the witch is recast as a powerful role model to women today: an emblem of power, free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women.

Whether selling grimoires on Etsy, posting photos of their crystal-adorned altar on Instagram, or gathering to cast spells on Donald Trump, witches are everywhere. But who exactly were the forebears of these modern witches? Who was historically accused of witchcraft, often meeting violent ends? What types of women have been censored, eliminated, repressed, over the centuries?

Mona Chollet takes three archetypes from historic witch hunts, and examines how far women today have the same charges levelled against them: independent women; women who choose not to have children; and women who reject the idea that to age is a terrible thing. Finally, Chollet argues that by considering the lives of those who dared to live differently, we can learn more about the richness of roles available, just how many different things a woman can choose to be.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781529034059
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 25/01/2022
  • Category: Society & social sciences / Feminism & feminist theory
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: $34.99

What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women . . . Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way.' - Télérama

A source of terror, a misogynistic image of woman inherited from the trials and the pyres of the great early modern witch hunts – in In Defence of Witches the witch is recast as a powerful role model to women today: an emblem of power, free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women.

Whether selling grimoires on Etsy, posting photos of their crystal-adorned altar on Instagram, or gathering to cast spells on Donald Trump, witches are everywhere. But who exactly were the forebears of these modern witches? Who was historically accused of witchcraft, often meeting violent ends? What types of women have been censored, eliminated, repressed, over the centuries?

Mona Chollet takes three archetypes from historic witch hunts, and examines how far women today have the same charges levelled against them: independent women; women who choose not to have children; and women who reject the idea that to age is a terrible thing. Finally, Chollet argues that by considering the lives of those who dared to live differently, we can learn more about the richness of roles available, just how many different things a woman can choose to be.

Author Information

Mona Chollet is a journalist for le Monde Diplomatique and speaks fluent English. In 2017 she appeared at the Festival Albertine in New York (curated by Gloria Steinem), on a panel with Roxane Gay (to talk about women’s bodies and their treatment as public property). She has written on women's bodies, the domestic sphere and dismantling right-wing political imagery.

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