The Witch of Edmonton
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554814169 / 1554814162
  • 160 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Witch of Edmonton

  • Publication Date: December 31, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554814169 / 1554814162
  • 160 pages; 5½" x 8½"

At the center of this remarkable 1621 play is the story of Elizabeth Sawyer, the titular “Witch of Edmonton,” a woman who had in fact been executed for the crime of witchcraft mere months before the play’s first performance. Yet hers is only one of several plots that animate The Witch of Edmonton. Blending sensational drama with domestic tragedy and comic farce, this complex and multi-layered play by Dekker, Ford, and Rowley emphasizes the mundane realities and interpersonal conflicts that are so often at the heart of sensational occurrences. This edition of their work offers a compelling and informative introduction, thorough annotation, and a selection of contextual materials that helps set the play in the context of the “witch-craze” of Jacobean England.

Introduction

  • William Rowley, John Ford, and Thomas Dekker
  • The Witch of Edmonton

The Witch of Edmonton

In Context

  • from James I (James VI of Scotland), Demonology, In Form of a Dialogue, Divided into Three Books (1597)
  • from William Perkins, A Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft; so far forth as it is revealed in the Scriptures, and manifest by true experience (1608)
  • from John Cotta, The Trial of Witchcraft, Showing the True and Right Method of the Discovery: With a Confutation of Erroneous Ways (1616)
  • Henry Goodcole, The Wonderful Discovery of Elizabeth Sawyer, a Witch, late of Edmonton, her conviction and condemnation and death. Together with the relation of the Devil’s access to her, and their conference together (1621)

Shelby Richardson is Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Orleans.