"Unreasonable Magic": Witchcraft, War and the Novel 1919-29
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
University of Pennsylvania Press (Penn Press)
Reason for embargo
This is the author accepted manuscript. It is currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by the publisher
This article examines some of the resonances of the First World War in witchcraft fiction, predominantly British. It begins with gender, religion and youth, issues rightly foregrounded in the small amount of pioneering criticism that exists. But it concludes by suggesting that there is a broader readjustment of the image of the witch after 1918. In particular, the article examines the reflection in the witchcraft novel of contemporary epistemological and narrative concerns, as well as a pervasive interest in technology and scientific change. These concerns made the witch an extremely modern, at times Modernist, figure. Without this transition from early modern to modern meanings, it is hard to see how the witch could have become the surprisingly prominent and paradigmatic figure that we see today in twenty-first century culture.
Awaiting citation and DOI