This is part of a bi-weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.
‘Early Modern Almanacs and The Witch of Edmonton‘ argues for a reconsideration of Thomas Dekker, John Ford, and William Rowley’s 1621 drama in light of the environmental preternatural forces at play upon and within the bodies of Edmonton’s citizens. In this case, Cuddy Bank’s reading of almanacs, texts which warn against these preternatural influences by looking to the stars, allows for him to interpret and interact with the demonic figure of Dog. This essay explores how early modern almanacs suggest a much more embedded narrative of human and bodily experience within the external world than the more learned medical tracts of the period articulate. Early modern almanacs provide a means for reading this environment and offer ways in which to predit and withstand external agents. Cuddy, equipped with this knowledge, is thus in a position to recognize and later exile the demonic forces in Edmonton.