New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2004.
Strange Histories presents a serious account of some of the most extraordinary occurrences of European and North American history and explains how they made sense to people living at the time. From grisly anecdotes about ghosts, to stories of witches and werewolves, the book uses case studies from the Middle Ages and the early modern period and provides fascinating insights into the world-view of a vanished age. It shows how such occurences fitted in quite naturally with the "common sense" of the time and offers explanations of these riveting and ultimately rational phenomena.What made reasonable, educated men and women behave in ways that seem utterly nonsensical to us today? This question and many more are answered in the fascinating book.
Table of Contents
List of plates viii
Introduction: Strange Worlds 1 (19)
Angels on a Pinhead 20 (20)
They Hang Horses, Don't They? 40 (16)
The Roaming Dead 56 (20)
``A Shipwreck of Souls'': Understanding 76 (20)
Werewolves and Flying Witches 96 (16)
Raptures and Forbidden Words 112 (21)
Suffering Saints 133 (17)
The Case for Killing Heretics 150 (16)
Conclusion: ``The Edge of Wonder'' 166 (10)
Notes 176 (17)