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The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the best-known treatises dealing with the problem of what to do with witches. It was written in 1487 by a Dominican inquisitor- Heinrich Institoris- following his failure to prosecute a number of women for witchcraft- it is in many ways a highly personal document- full of frustration at official complacency in the face of a spiritual threat- as well as being a practical guide for law-officers who have to deal with a cunning- dangerous enemy. Combining theological discussion- illustrative anecdotes- and useful advice for those involved in suppressing witchcraft- its influence on witchcraft studies has been extensive.The only previous translation into English- that by Montague Summers produced in 1928- is full of inaccuracies. It is written in a style almost unreadable nowadays- and is unfortunately coloured by his personal agenda. This new edited translation- with an introductory essay setting witchcraft- Institoris- and the Malleus into clear- readable English- corrects Summers mistakes and offers a lean- unvarnished version of what Institoris actually wrote. It will undoubtedly become the standard translation of this important and controversial late-medieval text. -- ....
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