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Cas Gan Gythraul: demonology, witchcraft and popular magic in eighteenth century wales. T.P.

The identity of T. P. is unknown, but this unique, relatively short, text offers the fullest treatment of witchcraft in Wales in the vernacular, during the early eighteenth century. The author’s admonitions to the Welsh to refrain from consulting wizards, charmers and soothsayers in addition to his ‘explanation’ of the great danger in doing so provides evidence of a complex Welsh debate on witchcraft at a crucial time in the history of witchcraft and witchcraft theory. Unusually, T. P. also includes a detailed ‘discussion’ of the kinds of ‘wicked’ customs practised in Wales at this time. The author shares his own experiences and beliefs and those of his neighbours and acquaintances, by relating his conversations to the reader, giving his work a rich and authentic feel.

The editor, Lisa Tallis, developed an interest in the history of Welsh witchcraft as an undergraduate at the University of Glamorgan. She has since studied various aspects of witchcraft and magical beliefs in Wales including the cultural significance of the Devil, and in 2007 obtained her PhD from Swansea University on witchcraft, magic and religion in Wales from 1700-1905. Her recent research explores themes such as literacy, ‘superstition’, continuity and the role of cunning-folk within Welsh witchcraft beliefs. This current translation is a tribute to a key text on witchcraft and magical beliefs in Wales that has proved paramount to such research. Lisa currently works for Cardiff University Library Service, and when she’s not amongst the bookshelves of the university libraries, she can probably be found in the travel section of any given bookshop.

Edited by Lisa Tallis
Published 2015
ISBN 978-0-9553387-8-6

Price: 22.50       Members received a free copy of this book, subject to payment of the 20 subscription for 2015.

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