Any beggar woman was a potential scapegoat during the European witch craze

In the three centuries between 1450 and 1750 in Europe it is estimated that up to 100,000 women were burned, hanged, drowned or put to death in other ingenious ways on suspicion of being witches. John Callow’s thoroughly researched book tells the story of three such women, the last judicial victims in England of what has been dubbed ‘the great European witch craze’. Craze is an appropriate word for a phenomenon which spanned a period when the Continent was supposedly emerging from the dark ages of superstition into the sunlight of the Enlightenment. But in the dawning Europe of Kant, Voltaire and Newton a cloud of unreason persisted, of which