Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews

Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews : The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany

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An exploration of why women were singled out as witches in 15th-century in Germany. Sigrid Brauner examines the connections between three central developments in early modern Germany: a shift in gender roles for women; the rise of a new urban ideal of femininity; and the witch hunts that swept across Europe from 1435 to 1750. In mediaeval discourse on witchcraft, Brauner argues, men and women were assumed to become witches in roughly equal numbers. But starting with the notorious ""Malleus Maleficarum"" (1487), witchcraft was reinterpreted as a gender-specific crime: its authors argued contentiously that most witches were women and linked the crime of witchcraft to women's voracious sexual appetites. The work raises questions about the genesis of the modern social problems of race, gender and class oppression, and locates their roots in the early modern period.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 152.91 x 228.35 x 14.73mm | 285.76g
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • English
  • 1558492976
  • 9781558492974
  • 2,167,941

About Sigrid Brauner

Until her accidental death in 1992, SIGRID BRAUNER was assistant professor of German literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her book was edited for publication by her friend ROBERT H. BROWN, author of Nature's Hidden Terror: Violent Nature Imagery in Eighteenth-Century Germany.
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17 ratings
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