Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Interesting Manuscript News

- In Sweden, a previously unpublished manuscript revealing details about seventeenth century witch hunts and trials has been found in a museum archive, The Local reports. While much of the narrative - "A true tale about the nature of witchcraft", by minister Jöns Hornaeus - was already available in print, the discovery of the original manuscript revealed new information about the witchcraft investigations in Västernorrland County, including interviews with local residents. Unfortunately much of the text has been inked out, hindering the process of deciphering it. The manuscript was in a folder headed "Sorcery and superstition, witches, witches' rides and recipes".

- Not witches but fairies in England, where the Cumbria Archives has found a document of burial records for the village of Lamplugh for 1656-1663. Looks like Lamplugh was a pretty exciting place: causes of death include " A frying pan and pitchforks duel", " Attacked by the parson’s bull", and "Led to a watery grave by a will-o’-the-wisp." Joyce at Bibliophile Bullpen highlights this one.

- Also in England, the government is attempting to halt the potential private sale of a collection of letters and diaries written by Mary Hamilton, an early "bluestocking" who has been called "the female Pepys" for her meticulously detailed account of eighteenth-century events. John Rylands University library in Manchester has offered to buy the archive for £123,500 so that it can be made publicly available.