Charms, Charmers and Charming: International Research on by J. Roper

By J. Roper

Charms, Charmers, and captivating brings jointly the paintings of lots of state-of-the-art key students within the box of verbal captivating. The essays it comprises conceal vernacular magical texts and perform from Malaysia to Madagascar, and from England to Estonia. because the such a lot finished choice of examine on charms, charmers, and captivating on hand within the English language, it types an important reader at the subject.

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Additional info for Charms, Charmers and Charming: International Research on Verbal Magic (Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic)

Sample text

All of these elements can be seen elsewhere, and this becomes almost a standard model for charming rats from one site to another. , – Having taken quite a deep interest in your welfare in regard to your winter quarters I thought I would drop you a few lines which might be of some considerable benefit to you in the future seeing that you have pitched your winter quarters at the summer residence of * * * * No. 1 Seaview Street. I wish to inform you that you will be very much disturbed during cold winter months as I am expecting to be at work through all parts of the house, shall take down ceilings, take up floors, and clean out every substance that would serve to make you comfortable, likewise there will be nothing left for you to feed on, as I shall remove every eatable substance; so you had better take up your abode elsewhere.

G. ‘Rats gnawing the hangings of a room, is reckoned the forerunner of a death in the family’ – Grose, Provincial Glossary, 1787). 10 Note here that it is the behaviour that is ominous. General gnawing is a recognised phenomenon of rat behaviour. Rats have a flap of skin that closes behind their teeth when they’re gnawing, thus preventing them choking on whatever they chew up. ) When Gerald of Wales wrote of the cursing of rats by St. Yvorus in Fernigenan, Leinster, he assumed that the rats had aroused the saint’s displeasure in the first place by gnawing his books.

19 Many of these charms are appeals to Saints (usually Gertrude and Nicasius) to ward off rats, rather than appeals to the rats themselves to move. It may be that this tendency of offering alternative accommodation develops as a response to the animals’ observed behaviour, it being possible to encourage rats from one place to another within certain limitations. (Charlotte Latham’s example of rats as evil spirits, for example, is also predicated on their movement en masse). 20 In this connection, perhaps the most interesting part of Chambers’ rhyme is the mention of the mill.

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