A provocative account of the seismic shift in attitude toward the supernatural in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain
Early modern Britain embraced many forms of the supernatural and took the absolute existence of a spiritual world for granted. Yet in the eighteenth century these certainties were swept away. In this ground-breaking account, Michael Hunter argues that the real pioneers in skepticism about magic were humanists and free-thinkers. However, their critical attitude toward religion meant that their views were often dismissed. Hunter reveals just how divided opinion remained and how magic was never properly tested in the Enlightenment.