The Discoverie of Witchcraft

18 January 2022

This is an extremely rare first edition, published in 1584, of the first book written in English which contains an entire chapter on magic. It is a prized possession. The author Reginald Scot (c1538-1599) wrote it to show that supposed ‘witches’ were using natural means to perform their supposed witchcraft, rather than anything supernatural. In order to do this, Scot revealed the secrets of several ‘tricks,’ many of which are still performed in some form today. A couple which fortunately are no longer seen are: “how to cut off one’s Head, and to lay it in a Platter” and “to thrust a piece of Lead into one eye”. Early editions of Scot’s Discoverie are rare, partly due to an order to have them burned by the Catholic James I, whose religious beliefs included the existence of witches.

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