What is a witch? A woman (usually), unimaginably old, with streaming grey hair, who rides the air on her broom and devours little children. We can take it for granted that this type of witch doesn't exist, but villains there have been, and butchers too. Who were these monsters, those who accused, arrested, judged and condemned without showing consideration or pity? What were their motives? Did they act to uphold the received faith, or was it purely for self-preservation? Was it a cover for the execution of private vendettas and personal gains, or for the achievement of political aims and public recognition?
In his fascinating book Eric Durschmied explores the history of witch delusion and the cruel butchers who hunted and executed so-called witches, exploring a period from the Middle Ages to modern times. With its strong narrative and vivid depiction of characters such as Joan of Arc, Martin Luther and Witchfinder-General Matthew Hopkins, Whores of the Devil, is a passionate investigation of some of the greatest cruelties in history.
ERIK DURSCHMIED is a best-selling historian and award-winning war correspondent for the BBC and CBS. He has served as Lecturer of the Austrian Staff College and Guest Lecturer at West Point. He lives in France.