Frances Timbers's Magic and Masculinity analyzes practitioners of ritual magic in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while also establishing some of the classical and European precursors that shaped magic's development in early modern England. Her central concern is how the attempted practice of magic could both compromise and bolster a male practitioner's claims to honorable manhood. While there are fewer extant records of female magicians, Timbers finds that their work similarly, and often simultaneously, reflected, challenged, and reinforced established gender norms. The book tracks thematic developments across an array of interesting sources that shed light on magical practice itself and the circumstances that surrounded several well-known but newly evaluated magicians. Though her interests lie beyond the maleficium allegedly practiced by witches, the book demonstrates how fluid the boundaries between magician, conjuror, cunning-person, magical healer, fortune-teller, cozener, and witch could be. By attending closely to gender, and particularly the ways that...

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