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The Black Legend of Prince Rupert's DogWitchcraft and Propaganda during the English Civil War$
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Mark Stoyle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898591

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898591.001.0001

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date: 10 December 2018

‘Imagining Boy’

‘Imagining Boy’

The roots of the myth

Chapter:
(p.69) 5 ‘Imagining Boy’
Source:
The Black Legend of Prince Rupert's Dog
Author(s):

Mark Stoyle

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780859898591.003.0006

This chapter argues that the remarkable success of the Observations owed much to the subtlety and skill with which its author tapped into a complex web of pre-existent ideas about the supernatural. Notions of the dog as a witch's attendant spirit, or ‘familiar’ – from the trial of Dame Alice Kyteler in 1324-5 right up until the trial of the Lancashire witches in 1634 - are discussed in depth, and particular attention is paid to the possibility that poodles and spaniels may have been regarded with an especially suspicious eye by contemporaries. The influence of a series of polemical works which were produced during 1641-42 – and particularly of the anti-puritan satires of John Taylor, the ‘water poet’ – on the author of the Observations is also explored. [125]

Keywords:   Familiars*, Witches*, Demons, Spaniels, Prophecy, Incubus*, Dr Faustus, John Taylor*, Mother Shipton, Puritans*

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