I was not aware of the wider context when I first read this account of Elizabeth Clarke. I was attempting to look at something else in wider context, do cows have the evil eye (related to the idea that fish steal milk)?
The way this narrative was structured caught my attention and distracted me. I was caught up in the detail but did not stop to think about who Mathew Hopkins was nor that this was his first case.
His first successes.
Its a window into his popularity.
His craft and skill in the production of a successful narrative.
Narratives here are negotiated and agreed upon. Different social classes hold very different ideas about what witchcraft is. Confession depends on two very different social worlds reaching agreement.
Hopkins at first glance looks like a very social animal.
I have no idea yet who Mr Edwards of Mannintree or Mr Robert Taylor are. But a think one of the things on offer here is the ability to make you’re wildest dreams come true.
Invitation to enter a fantasy in which Mr Edwards and Mr Taylor, like the great and good of the land are the number one enemy of Satan.
They are placed at the center of great affairs.
A glamour has been cast and is now tangible and within reach.