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The spellbinding history of cheese and witchcraft

By Tabitha Stanmore, Honorary Research Fellow, Early Modern Studies, Department of History, University of Bristol
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As I was scrolling through Twitter recently, a viral tweet caught my attention. It was an image from a book of spells claiming that: “You may fascinate a woman by giving her a piece of cheese.” The spell comes from Kathryn Paulsen’s 1971 book, The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft – and, while proffering a lump of cheddar may seem like an unusual way of attracting a possible mate, Paulsen’s book draws on a long history of magic. It’s a history that has quite a lot of cheese in…


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