Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England, by James Sharpe


The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of EnglandThe Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England by James Sharpe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though the title is cumbersome, if Sharpe had added the word "Football" to the list of subjects, it would fairly well sum up the entirety of the books multitude of themes.  Yes, really, football.
Overall, for a heady academic non-fiction historical work, it read remarkably smoothly.  Sharpe's treatment of the subject is thorough, detailed, and accessible.
I enjoyed that Sharpe explained customs and details with which the reader would likely be unfamiliar with concise detail, while elaborating enough to impart the reader with a passable understanding rather than oversimplifying things.  I like that Sharpe's prose expects the reader to be intelligent without presupposing a specific and unlikely body of knowledge.
What I most enjoyed about this book was that Anne Gunter was such an unlikely candidate for being the subject of a book hundreds of years after her death. She was of little to no consequence in terms of the turning of the world, but her contains such depth of rich material, that to think of it as being relegated to silence with the rest of the masses is simply appalling. Her tale is both remakrable and surprising, and this book is well worth the read if you have any interest in Tudor/Stewart history and the peculiarities of the time.


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