Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition” as Want to Read:
Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Paperback, 356 pages
Published February 19th 1992 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published 1987)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Satanism and Witchcraft, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Satanism and Witchcraft

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  40 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5 estrellas

Una excelente biografía de la llamada "Bruja" de la edad media. Aquella que sana, que alivia el dolor, aunque también hace el mal. Ella va cambiando su papel hasta los procesos de hechicería en la oscura edad media hasta los siglos precedentes donde la mujer cambia de bruja a poseída.

“El hombre caza y lucha. La mujer intriga y sueña; es la madre de la fantasía, de los dioses. Posee la segunda visión, las alas que le permiten volar hacia el infinito del deseo y de la imaginación...
Eric Williamson
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book from a historical standpoint. Jules Michelet was a renowned French historian and radical, and his politics is evident in the book. He sees Medieval witchcraft as a act of rebellion against the oppressive Catholic church. It is effectively two books, the first is speculative, and the narrative is quite interesting. The second part is more of a dry history of the trials and persecutions. Largely regarded as inaccurate today, it is still an important work because it was one of ...more
J.M. Hushour
"They are still far, very far, from being ripe for Satan. They have yet to learn to hate God."

Although largely worthless as an academic exercise in the history of the witch phenomenon in times past, Michelet's work here is bawdy, sexy fun! As anti-clerical as they come, Michelet didn't like the church at all and it really shines through here since the church is basically blamed for the fall to Satan of the fluttering hearts and genitals of every other woman in Europe, it seems, over a
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quando si comincia a leggere “La strega”, ci si potrebbe aspettare un elegantissimo saggio che discuta della figura storica della strega, ma in realtà Jules Michelet ha scritto molto di più. Ci troviamo di fronte un’opera che analizzi il potere delle donne, e come questo sia stato strumentalizzato e ostracizzato e quanto le donne siano state il substrato funzionante, la base di tutta la società, per secoli. Jules Michelet non ci dice che le streghe non siano esistite, ma ci racconta - nella ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica
Come accadde con "La Dea Bianca" di Graves, il valore storico ed etnografico de "La Strega" venne sottoposto a duri giudizi, ma in entrambi è presente una dichiarazione di pensiero libero e, in Michelet, altamente scabroso. Egli infatti compie un'analisi, con stile aulico e romanzato, di tutto il Medioevo, identificato soprattutto con un termine esemplificativo - imitazione - per riferirsi alla tremenda attitudine o imposizione che dispensa dal ragionamento e rimette le esistenze a un femminile ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma análise histórica muito bem escrita e com bastante informação isenta de parcialidades. Quem se interessa pelo tema do ponto de vista histórico e sociológico, este livro é precioso. É preciso percebermos que a realidade que norteava aqueles tempos que o livro descreve, ainda não desapareceu por completo. Daí ser importante perceber a psicologia dos medos e das crenças, através de um livro que não fere susceptibilidades.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fabulous, albeit most likely wholly innacurate rendition of the medieval witch craze. I enjoyed this greatly mainly due to Michelet's truly incandescent narrative flair. The French writers I have read seem to have truly unique and inflammatory voices, often radical and often saturated with a festering nihilism - an abhorence of humanity in all it's grossness and grotesqueness.

This would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoyed Lautreamont or Huysmans, as it surges with a very similar repugnance for
Alan Fay
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, history
This book is weird. It's supposed to be a history book, but it's written in this first-person, "I'm a mystic channeling the past into your face," kind of style.

I look at pages in it any time I need random seed values.
Mal, porque no era lo que esperaba. Doblemente mal, porque con el dinero que he pagado por este libro igual Akal edita "La trampa de la diversidad 2" y nada me haría más desdichado que saber que he contribuido a la estabilidad económica de Daniel Bernabé aka no te puto pilles.
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histoire
Nullement échaudé par la violente campagne cléricale menée contre lui après la publication du livre Le Prêtre, l'historien Jules Michelet aura une nouvelle fois l'occasion d'étaler au grand jour son aversion envers le catholicisme dans La Sorcière, un essai que l'on pourrait qualifier de proto-féministe derrière lequel d'aucuns crurent distinguer l'ombre d'Athénaïs, son épouse de vingt-huit ans sa cadette.

Or, non content de rendre hommage à la femme (la "fiancée du Diable", pour citer sa
Drew Martin
It’s easy to think you’ve found a riveting, interesting book based on nothing more than the title. Every now and then, the promise holds true, and you find a gem between the pages. Jules Michelet’s 1862 book, Satanism and Witchcraft: A Study in Medieval Superstition isn’t one of them. As a long-time fan of dark, occult subjects, I wanted to read Michelet’s famed work since I stumbled across the title. As it’s not the type of thing you’ll find in your local library, I bought it used on eBay. A ...more
Derek Davis
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I doubt this is the same translation I have, which goes way back, but the book itself is nothing like most history you will read from any period. A 19th century French look at the medieval witchcrraft phenomenon, it takes the side of the woman without apology or reserve. It also ignores fact much of the time for an open-handed interpretative and semi-fictionalized way of introducing place and mood.

Is this good history? Hard to tell, really. Mostly, it's a highly personal take on a complex
Guess I was on a bit of a Satanic spree in March. Primarily notable, and still referenced in modern media, for being among the first sympathetic portrayals of witchcraft in mainstream literature. While a lot of the speculative history in this volume has since been disproved, its poetic prose, flair for narrative nonfiction (and fiction), and principled examinations of social injustice and witch trials make it a remarkable read nonetheless. Definitely something of an underappreciated classic.
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pour l'historienne que je suis, l'oeuvre de Jules Michelet est plus à prendre finalement comme une analyse de la vision romantique de la sorcière au XIXeme que comme un véritable travail de recherche historique. Une vision de la sorcellerie fantasmée, fausse, complètement revisitée par de plus récents travaux.
Madrileña Reader
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm used to reading serious scientific essays, which is what I was expecting from this one. However, it reads like a bad novel with facts splashed in.
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Huh. Looks like the thing I've been using as a coaster for the last month is a first edition. Oops.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers with too much time on their hands
I picked this up cheap on a whim, as it has almost no explanation of just what it is. I very much wish I hadn't, though I can certainly understand how readers could find merit herein.
So, what it is: a long-winded rant about women and witchery, tending to supposition and ill-informed history. It was originally written as a collection of essays (some from public speeches) from a 19th-century French philosopher of minor note (here translated by A.R. Allinson).
What it isn't: a coherent history of
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd initially picked up this book as it was cited as the base for "Belladonna of Sadness," a 1973 animated feature from Japan. Alas, as this is not a review of that wonderful movie, but the book itself, my review will be less glowing. For the time period, Michelet comes off as a surprisingly strident feminist, quick to make the witch the sympathetic victim of a patriarchal society. So, for the first section of the book, he creates a scenario - a young woman, pushed to devil worship by the most ...more
Esteban Galarza
El libro estuvo bien. Tal vez fue demasiado pretencioso en su postulado y debería haber hecho la aclaración que por historia y brujería se centraría en Francia y en algunos casos paradigmáticos. Todo lo que promete la primera parte del libro queda traicionada y deslucida en la segunda. El libro es una obra típica del positivismo francés decimonónico, es decir, petulante y anticlerical (no tengo nada contra esto último pero si tiene un abordaje más inteligente que la simple sorna). Lo que más me ...more
Luis Cardenas
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un estudio extraordinario no solo de las supersticiones en la Edad Media, Michelet plantea el papel de la mujer durante este periodo y la lucha constante de la iglesia para defender la fe contra Satán. Con la narraciones de las actas judiciales de la época, se reconstruye un periodo interesante y poco conocido de la caza de brujas en Europa en donde la luz, la razón y la ciencia eran el enemigo satánico de la iglesia. No solo los datos y la información que aporta son lo rico de este libro, ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Luan by: Salve Melhor Juízo (podcast)
Shelves: biblio-puc
Fantástico... ainda que já tenha lido que algumas considerações de Michelet tenham sido revisitadas nas décadas que o seguiram, esse livro não deixa de ser fascinante.

O principal atrativo é a escrito envolvente do autor. Desde as primeiras páginas até os relatos da parte final, você se esquece que está lendo um livro de História e se deixa levar como numa ficção. Há muito o que aprender, bem como com o que se divertir.

Destilando muito veneno pelo período que ele mais amava odiar, Michelet
Marcio Ribeiro
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ótimo livro, embora por vezes instransponível na leitura em razão dos sentimentos de repulsa pelo que o ser humano faz aos demais. E não digo repulsa à feiticeira, simbolo da mulher, da natureza, dos excluídos, de tudo que a cristandade hipócrita procurou varrer da humanidade. A repulsa é exatamente pelo que a igreja e as supertições daí nascidas fizeram de mau. Superada essa repulsa, a leitura é agradável e essencial para se perceber inclusive a atualidade, em que a mulher é ainda, ...more
Mary Rose
Note: This is not an up-to-date history of witchcraft. It was written in the 1860s, and so many of its findings are antiquated or just plain wrong. Since I study what people in the 19th century thought about about the middle ages, it was perfect for me. It may or may not be perfect for someone else.

STILL it has some of the most beautiful writing. I wish we wrote more history like that sometimes.
Cinty Herrejon
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro para conocer la historia de las brujas. Y para ser un libro escrito en 1800 no me pareció pesado de leer, excepto por algunas partes pero en general no.
Podría decirse que hasta parece actual, ya que se sabía que lo que hizo la iglesia con las brujas fue un crimen.
Zaira S. Luna
Me fue difícil leerlo, interesante en la historia que cuenta pero lectura pesada.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bravo! A good fast read! now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.

i would highly recommend this author and this book.
Aaron Meyer
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchcraft
This book is an first edition english translation from 1939. The original title from the French was La Sorciere. I read another edition and haven't compared the translations but I do know that there was a previous translation from 1863 which may have been the translation I read. Now with this out of the way on with the review.

An interesting look at the development of the witch and the resulting witch trials which ravaged Europe for centuries. The book is written in a semi fictional and toward
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval-history
Exceptional writing style. Hilarious and exasperating in the way it denigrates its subject.

"Leprosy has been traced to Asia and the Crusades; but Europe had it in herself. The war declared by the Middle Ages against the flesh and all cleanliness bore its fruits. More than one saint boasted of having never washed even his hands. And how much did the rest wash? To have stripped for a moment would have been sinful. The worldlings carefully follow the teaching of the monks. This subtle and refined
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para ser un libro escrito en (late) 1800, es lúcido, ligero, incluso actual, ya con la teoría de que la Iglesia condenó a muchísimas mujeres inocentes a la hoguera para probar que tenía un pene eclesiástico del tamaño de la eternidad.
Es una cronología desde la instalación de la Iglesia Católica, la invención de Satán detrás de un feminismo ascendente, el peso científico de la medicina contra la superstción... una chulada de libro aderezado con fundamentos históricos de mujeres reales que fueron
Diogo Silva
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting view on the medieval world, over the course of the most dark period in the history of humanity, full of misery, desease and lies. The people cried out for a little hope, the church ignored them; they had nobody else to turn to except the outcast ladies who where the first true doctors of the middle ages.

It reads like a documentary, that will show you a world where knights had not one single drop of chivalry, where donsels need not saving (quite the opposite) and where the common
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sorcières - La Puissance invaincue des femmes
  • I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
  • Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse, #4)
  • Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse, #3)
  • The Witches of the Blue Well
  • Claudine at School
  • The Winter Witch
  • Rage (Riders of the Apocalypse, #2)
  • Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)
  • Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate
  • Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
  • Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, And Colonialism In The Pacific
  • The Mountain People
  • The Dobe Ju/'hoansi
  • The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade
  • Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South
  • Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology
  • The Forest People
See similar books…
His father was a master printer, not very prosperous, and Jules assisted him in the actual work of the press. A place was offered him in the imperial printing office, but his father was able to send him to the famous Collège or Lycée Charlemagne, where he distinguished himself. He passed the university examination in 1821, and was soon appointed to a professorship of history in the Collège Rollin. ...more
“Man hunts and fights. Woman contrives and dreams; she is the mother of fancy, of the gods.” 0 likes
More quotes…