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Possession, Puritanism and Print

Darrell, Harsnett, Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Exorcism Controversy

Possession, Puritanism and Print
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Gibson tells a compelling story of injustice and passionate resistance to religious persecution at the end of the Elizabethan period. She examines the 1598 Church of England trial of the Puritan preacher John Darrell for fraudulent exorcism, and the surrounding pamphlet controversy. This is the first book to relate the apparently obscure debate over methods of exorcism to parallel rebellions of the godly, the young, women and the ‘common’ people, some thirty years before these rebellions would begin to surface during the English Civil War. It is based closely on unpublished sources, including little-known documents which suggest that John Darrell lived longer than previously thought.