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Books

This month’s best historical books

The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present

By Ronald Hutton

Yale, £25, 376 pages, hardback

There are several over-familiar images that we jump to when we think of witches, even today: the hat, the broom, the cauldron. Yet this scholarly, engrossing take on the ‘witch’ travels across centuries and continents to prove that it is a figure that is both more pervasive and more diverse than we might expect. The subtitle of Ronald Hutton’s book is also important, as he considers the ways in which a fear of witches has led to bigotry and, worse, violence against some members of societies around the world right up to the present day.

“Across the world, witches have been regarded with loathing and horror, and associated with evil forces in the supernatural world”

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

Discover the daring escapes and rescue missions of the Dunkirk evacuation, find out how the Victorians revolutionised British summers with the creation of the seaside holiday, and meet the exotic dancer-turned-World War I spy, Mata Hari.