The Templars, the witch and the wild Irish

Vengeance and heresy in medieval Ireland

Maeve Brigid Callan

Hardback €15.75
Catalogue Price: €17.50
ISBN: 978-1-84682-549-1
January 2015. 304pp; ills.

‘In The Templars, the Witch and the Wild Irish, Callan makes the Kyteler case the centrepiece of her study of the Irish heresy trials which took place between 1310 and 1353 … This is a well-written and interesting work’, Yvonne Seale, Eolas (2016).

‘Maeve Brigid Callan weaves Irish and wider European patterns together convincingly in her account of incidents concerning heresy and witchcraft that occurred in Ireland between 1310 and 1360 … Analysis of the trial for witchcraft of Alice Kyteler in 1324 takes up the majority of Callan’s book, and she has much that is new and significant to say about it … Callan is at pains to place this incident – well-known in the history of European witchcraft – in its proper Irish context, and in so doing adds to our understanding of the social history of the island in the fourteenth century … this is a bold, fresh and scholarly account that will be warmly welcomed by medieval historians and the general reader wishing to enter the stormy world of fourteenth-century Ireland’, Brendan Smith, The Tablet (May 2015). 

The Templars, the Witch and the Wild Irish is a brilliant and accessible case study of witchcraft and heresy, based on Celtic sources. Exploring the competing forces of gender, politics, colonialism, religion and theology in a unique and limited period of Irish cultural history, this book also offers distinctive insights into our understanding of the factors involved in contemporary violence carried out under religious and/or political auspices’, Mary Condren, author of The serpent and the Goddess: women, religion and power in Celtic Ireland.

‘In The Templars, the Witch and the Wild Irish, Maeve Brigid Callan presents in detail material important for understanding both fourteenth-century Ireland and the development of witchcraft trials in western Europe. She looks at the subject as a whole, showing the relationship between the various accusations of heresy and witchcraft during the first half of the fourteenth century and putting these events into their wider context’, Helen Nicholson, Cardiff University, author of The proceedings against the Templars in the British Isles.

The Templars, the Witch and the Wild Irish is a valuable book that will become the standard work on heresy and witchcraft in medieval Ireland. Maeve Brigid Callan provides some very useful and important correctives to the conventional view of Irish heresy and witchcraft’, Frank Klaassen, University of Saskatchewan, author of The Transformations of magic: illicit learned magic in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance.