Caroline Walker Bynum writes:
Its great appeal lies in its clear, lively style and in the range of its subject matter. All of it will be new to the general reader, at whom the book is directed, and much will be unfamiliar to medievalists as well. In contrast to what one usually finds in published lectures, there is a surprising amount both of original research and of new insight into familiar texts. Bartlett’s treatment of witchcraft, for example, not only adds to the well-known Canon episcopi and Malleus maleficarum some obscure and relevant material from 11th-century Hungary, but uses all three sources to provide a more nuanced interpretation than the old cliché about there having been a simple progression from the persecution of witch-belief to the persecution of witches.