|About the Book|
This 1980 book examines witchcraft beliefs and experiences in the Bocage, a rural area of western France. It also introduced a powerful theoretical attitude towards the progress of the ethnographers enquiries, suggesting that a full knowledge of witchcraft involves being caught up in it oneself. In the Bocage, being bewitched is to be caught in a sequence of misfortunes. According to those who are bewitched, the culprit is someone in the neighbourhood: the witch, who can cast a spell with a word, a touch or a look, and whose power comes from a book of spells inherited from an ancestor. Only a professional magician, an unwitcher, has any chance of breaking the succession of misfortunes which befall those who have been bewitched. He undertakes a battle of magic with the suspected witch, a battle which is eventually fatal.