Elizabeth Lorentz was a young maid servant in early modern Germany who believed herself to be tormented by the devil, and who was eventually brought to trial in 1667. The trial grappled with the question of whether Lorentz was a willing accomplice of the devil or suffering from melancholy as a result of her previous sins. To provide readers with historical context, Morton includes an introduction to the early modern issues of demonic pact, possession, and spiritual melancholy, and as a supplement, a contemporary record of demonic possession of another young woman. The Bedevilment of Elizabeth Lorentz provides excellent insight into the complexities of Protestant attitudes to melancholy and the Devil, and into the circumstances of young women in early modern Europe.
About the authors
Peter A. Morton is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Humanities at Mount Royal University.
Barbara Dï¿½hms is a translator.
"This short book is a major scholarly contribution to the ongoing fine-tuning of our understanding of the spiritual climate of the period, while at the same time ideal for classroom use."
<i>The Medieval Review</i>
"The accessibility of this edition is its greatest strength. It is exactly the kind of primary source edition for which instructors are continually searching. The content, style, length, and perhaps most importantly, price, are ideal for use in an undergraduate setting. Morton ends his introduction with a line describing a ‘conceptual world different from our own but inhabited by people very much like us,’ (lv) and The Bedevilment of Elizabeth Lorentz is a wonderful examination of exactly that."
<em>Early Modern Women</em>, Spring 2020