The fairy-tale witch is a compelling, frightening, and reliable stock character in our contemporary society. Mention “witch” and the hag of fairy-tale picture books for children comes to mind far more frequently than any other, more nuanced image.
The narrative of witchcraft in Ireland is a subject often left out of major surveys of the wider history of witchcraft. Dr. Andrew Sneddon’s research explores the presence and complexities of witchcraft beliefs and traditions in an Irish context.
In the great wealth of witch-related lore, the image of the persecuted local midwife is one of the most enduringly popular.
Who is la Befana, the Italian Christmas witch?
From its beginnings in the 1840s until the late twentieth century it was Shakespeare’s Three Witches who inspired the majority of cartoons featuring witches in Punch.