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16th Century

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  1. 4.3 hrs • 4/23/2015 • Unabridged

    This unabridged chapter, titled “Witch Mania,” is from Charles Mackay’s evergreen work, Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Published in 1841, it is a stylish and comprehensive dissection of the witch mania which beset much of Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In his easygoing journalistic style, Mackay describes in some detail many celebrated outbreaks of this hysteria including the trials of Dr. Fian and Gellie Duncan in Scotland, the progress of Matthew Hopkins through East Anglia as the self-styled Witch-Finder General, and further episodes in New England, Wurzburg and Geneva. Herein are speeches made from the dock, the scaffold, from the foot of the “bonnie fire” itself, gruesome accounts of the many tortures endured and several chilling spells and incantations. It begins with a discussion of medieval attitudes to the devil and Satan, misinterpretations of Mosaic Law, of what comprised a typical Witches’ Sabbath, of the brutal extirpation of the Knights Templar and the brave but futile resistance of the little-known Stedinger in Holland. “Witch Mania” is, in short, not only an exciting introduction to the history of witchcraft and a worthy addition to the libraries of folklorists, social historians, and students of Wicca, but also a moving memorial to the countless innocent lives lost.

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    Witch Mania

    4.3 hrs • 4/23/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    17.8 hrs • 6/27/2013 • Unabridged

    What was it actually like to live in Elizabethan England? If you could travel to the past and walk the streets of London in the 1590s, where would you stay? What would you eat? What would you wear? Would you really have a sense of it being a glorious age? And if so, how would that glory sit alongside the vagrants, diseases, violence, sexism and famine of the time? Acclaimed historian Ian Mortimer reveals—in great detail—how the streets and homes of sixteenth century looked, sounded, and smelled for both peasants and for royals; what people wore and ate; how they were punished for crimes and treated for diseases; and the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion. Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England is a book for Elizabethan enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

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    The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England

    17.8 hrs • 6/27/13 • Unabridged
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  3. 12.3 hrs • 7/12/2011 • Unabridged

    At Will Durant’s death in 1981, his personal papers were dispersed among relatives, collectors, and archive houses. Twenty years later, scholar John Little discovered the previously unknown manuscript of Heroes of History in Durant’s granddaughter’s garage. Written shortly before he died, these twenty-one essays serve as an abbreviated version of Durant’s bestselling, eleven-volume series, The Story of Civilization. Durant traces the lives and ideas of those who have helped to define civilization, from Confucius to Shakespeare, from the Roman Empire to the Reformation, spanning thousands of years of human history. A volume of life-enhancing wit and wisdom, Heroes of History draws upon Durant’s expansive knowledge and singular ability to translate distant events and complex ideas into easily accessible principles.                       

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    Heroes of History

    12.3 hrs • 7/12/11 • Unabridged
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  4. 16.9 hrs • 1/5/2010 • Unabridged

    New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir tells the spellbinding tale of the last days of Henry VIII’s second wife. Accused of adultery, incest, and treason, Anne Boleyn is locked in the Tower of London on May 2, 1536. Despite maintaining her innocence, she’s quickly condemned to death. Soon, one sword stroke sends her into eternity. But as her remains rot in the sun—unblessed by coffin, marker, or funeral—few know the truth behind her swift demise.

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    The Lady in the Tower

    16.9 hrs • 1/5/10 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.1 hrs • 12/26/2007 • Abridged

    In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from relative obscurity to the inner circle of King Henry VIII. As powerful men and women around her became victims of Henry’s ruthless and absolute power, including her own husband and sister-in-law, Queen Anne Boleyn, Jane’s allegiance to the volatile monarchy was sustained and rewarded. But the price for her loyalty would eventually be her undoing and the ruination of her name. For centuries, little beyond rumor and scandal has been associated with “the infamous Lady Rochford.” But now historian Julia Fox sets the record straight and restores dignity to this much-maligned figure whose life and reputation were taken from her. Born to aristocratic parents in the English countryside, young Jane Parker found a suitable match in George Boleyn, brother to Anne, the woman who would eventually be the touchstone of England’s greatest political and religious crisis. Once settled in the bustling, spectacular court of Henry VIII as the wife of a nobleman, Jane was privy to the regal festivities of masques and jousts, royal births and funerals, and she played an intimate part in the drama and gossip that swirled around the king’s court. But it was Anne Boleyn’s descent from palace to prison that first thrust Jane into the spotlight. Impatient with Anne’s inability to produce a male heir, King Henry accused the queen of treason and adultery with a multitude of men, including her own brother, George. Jane was among those interrogated in the scandal, and following two swift strokes from the executioner’s blade, she lost her husband and her sister-in-law, her inheritance and her place in court society. Now the thirty-year-old widow of a traitor, Jane had to ensure her survival and protect her own interests by securing land and income. With sheer determination, she navigated her way back into royal favor by becoming lady-in-waiting to Henry’s three subsequent brides, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard. At last Jane’s future seemed secure—until an unwitting misstep involving the sexual intrigues of young Queen Catherine destroyed the life and reputation Jane worked so hard to rebuild. Drawing upon her own deep knowledge and years of original research, Julia Fox brings us into the inner sanctum of court life, laced with intrigue and encumbered by disgrace. Through the eyes and ears of Jane Boleyn, we witness the myriad players of the stormy Tudor period. Jane emerges as a courageous spirit, a modern woman forced by circumstances to fend for herself in a privileged but vicious world.

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    Jane Boleyn

    6.1 hrs • 12/26/07 • Abridged
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  6. 12.9 hrs • 12/26/2007 • Unabridged

    In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from relative obscurity to the inner circle of King Henry VIII. As powerful men and women around her became victims of Henry’s ruthless and absolute power, including her own husband and sister-in-law, Queen Anne Boleyn, Jane’s allegiance to the volatile monarchy was sustained and rewarded. But the price for her loyalty would eventually be her undoing and the ruination of her name. For centuries, little beyond rumor and scandal has been associated with “the infamous Lady Rochford.” But now historian Julia Fox sets the record straight and restores dignity to this much-maligned figure whose life and reputation were taken from her. Drawing upon her own deep knowledge and years of original research, Julia Fox brings us into the inner sanctum of court life, laced with intrigue and encumbered by disgrace. Through the eyes and ears of Jane Boleyn, we witness the myriad players of the stormy Tudor period. Jane emerges as a courageous spirit, a modern woman forced by circumstances to fend for herself in a privileged but vicious world.

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    Jane Boleyn

    12.9 hrs • 12/26/07 • Unabridged
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