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The Witch of Eye

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This amazingly wise and nimble collection investigates the horrors inflicted on so-called “witches” of the past. The Witch of Eye unearths salves, potions, and spells meant to heal, yet interpreted by inquisitors as evidence of evil. The author describes torture and forced confessions alongside accounts of gentleness of legendary midwives. In one essay about a trial, we le This amazingly wise and nimble collection investigates the horrors inflicted on so-called “witches” of the past. The Witch of Eye unearths salves, potions, and spells meant to heal, yet interpreted by inquisitors as evidence of evil. The author describes torture and forced confessions alongside accounts of gentleness of legendary midwives. In one essay about a trial, we learn through folklore that Jesus’s mother was a midwife who cured her own son’s rheumatism. In other essays there are subtle parallels to contemporary discourse around abortion and environmental destruction. Nuernberger weaves in her own experiences too. There’s an ironic look at her own wedding, an uncomfortable visit to the Prague Museum of Torture, and an afternoon spent tearing out a garden in a mercurial fit. Her researched material is eye-opening, lively, and often funny. An absolutely thrilling collection.


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This amazingly wise and nimble collection investigates the horrors inflicted on so-called “witches” of the past. The Witch of Eye unearths salves, potions, and spells meant to heal, yet interpreted by inquisitors as evidence of evil. The author describes torture and forced confessions alongside accounts of gentleness of legendary midwives. In one essay about a trial, we le This amazingly wise and nimble collection investigates the horrors inflicted on so-called “witches” of the past. The Witch of Eye unearths salves, potions, and spells meant to heal, yet interpreted by inquisitors as evidence of evil. The author describes torture and forced confessions alongside accounts of gentleness of legendary midwives. In one essay about a trial, we learn through folklore that Jesus’s mother was a midwife who cured her own son’s rheumatism. In other essays there are subtle parallels to contemporary discourse around abortion and environmental destruction. Nuernberger weaves in her own experiences too. There’s an ironic look at her own wedding, an uncomfortable visit to the Prague Museum of Torture, and an afternoon spent tearing out a garden in a mercurial fit. Her researched material is eye-opening, lively, and often funny. An absolutely thrilling collection.

52 review for The Witch of Eye

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    I started writing a big long thing about this book, but honestly, I recommend it for everyone. If you’re interested in history, spells, witches, believing women, herbs, this book is for you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Kathryn Nuernberger writes about witches and witch trials as her area of expertise and, in The Witch of Eye, brings all her knowledge to connect her feelings and events in her life to the witches of the past. In a series of brief chapters, Nuernberger moves from the Bamberg witch trials to marriage to the North Berwick trials to botany and more—including the infamous Witch of Eye herself, whose star chart for the King of England led her to being accused of treason... Read the rest of my review at Kathryn Nuernberger writes about witches and witch trials as her area of expertise and, in The Witch of Eye, brings all her knowledge to connect her feelings and events in her life to the witches of the past. In a series of brief chapters, Nuernberger moves from the Bamberg witch trials to marriage to the North Berwick trials to botany and more—including the infamous Witch of Eye herself, whose star chart for the King of England led her to being accused of treason... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss, for review consideration.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anca

    A slog through extremes: from themes twisted and belabored to the point of torture (no pun intended, given the subject matters of the book), to passages shallow, or outright irrelevant; yields a couple of gems. Should have known better than giving in to the hype. "En vogue" should be an insult to authors nowadays, and a warning to readers. A slog through extremes: from themes twisted and belabored to the point of torture (no pun intended, given the subject matters of the book), to passages shallow, or outright irrelevant; yields a couple of gems. Should have known better than giving in to the hype. "En vogue" should be an insult to authors nowadays, and a warning to readers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Heiser

    Loved this book. Worth your time

  5. 5 out of 5

    Isabella Tommasone

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leanna

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daven Ralston

  8. 4 out of 5

    H

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

  10. 5 out of 5

    Moisés

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Gavin Frank

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Casey

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vern

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leah L

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Resa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Da'

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre Danklin

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Jernigan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Howard

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Alcaide-Escue

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  27. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maritza

  29. 5 out of 5

    Margaryta

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hrycyk

  31. 4 out of 5

    Huck Brock

  32. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kit

  34. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  35. 4 out of 5

    Dipali

  36. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Warren

  37. 4 out of 5

    Emmaline Soken-Huberty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Pri Srinivasa

  39. 5 out of 5

    Bhani Rachel Bali

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jules Kelly

  41. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  42. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

  43. 5 out of 5

    Pam Jones

  44. 5 out of 5

    Laura Joakimson

  45. 4 out of 5

    Nat

  46. 5 out of 5

    Emily Tanner

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  48. 5 out of 5

    Madi May

  49. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Harris

  50. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

  51. 4 out of 5

    Xoch Rodríguez

  52. 5 out of 5

    Laura

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