John Ford: The Witch of Edmonton

(650 words)
  • Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)

The Witch of Edmonton, a collaborative piece by Thomas Dekker, John Ford, and William Rowley, was first acted in 1621 (there is a record of a performance at Court on 29 December of that year), though not published until 1658. When first acted, it was a topical play, for Elizabeth Sawyer, the real-life model of the eponymous witch, had been executed on 19 April 1621. The play draws heavily on a pamphlet by Henry Goodcole, The wonderful discoverie of Elizabeth Sawyer, Witch (1621), but takes a rather different attitude. Goodcole's witch is simply a bad woman, who has no particular need to seek magical aid since she has a husband to support her and a family. The Sawyer of the play, however, is a poor, lonely, and unfairly …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Hopkins, Lisa. "The Witch of Edmonton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean