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Of Oysters, Witches, Birds, and Anchors: Conceptions of Space and Travel in Pierre de Lancre

Maus de Rolley, T; (2017) Of Oysters, Witches, Birds, and Anchors: Conceptions of Space and Travel in Pierre de Lancre. Renaissance Studies 10.1111/rest.12333. (In press).

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Abstract

In 1609, the Bordeaux judge Pierre de Lancre led a brutal witch-hunt in the Pays de Labourd, a territory in the south-western tip of France. In his Tableau de l’inconstance des mauvais anges et demons (1612), Lancre described this fragment of the French Basque country as a New World of sorts inhabited by barely civilized people, and an inverted image of his own land: a prosperous and peaceful estate in Sainte-Croix-des-Monts, in the wine-making region of Bordeaux. The Pays de Labourd was a place of frenzy and mobility, which made it the devil’s natural abode, and horrified Lancre, whose very name – a combination of the stone (pierre) and the anchor (ancre) – designated him as an incarnation of constancy and stability. This article explores the conceptions of space and travel at work in Lancre’s writings, and examines the personal, literary and cultural roots of his demonization of movement. Replacing the 1612 Tableau within the wider context of Lancre’s other works, it argues that Lancre’s view of the Pays de Labourd and his discourse on witchcraft was shaped to a great extent by a neo-Stoic condemnation of travel and mobility.

Type: Article
Title: Of Oysters, Witches, Birds, and Anchors: Conceptions of Space and Travel in Pierre de Lancre
DOI: 10.1111/rest.12333
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rest.12333
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Demonology, Witchcraft, Pierre de Lancre, Travel
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568209
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