This book is mainly an English translation of Jón Magnússon’s
A Story of Sufferings. Magnússon, a seventeenth-century Lutheran priest in Iceland, endured intense physical and mental sufferings, which he attributed to the black magic of three alleged sorcerers. The two male sorcerers were tried, convicted, and burned to death, but the third (a woman) was acquitted. The work may have been written as material for appealing the acquittal of the woman to a higher court. This book also includes a historical introduction, a chronology of Jón Magnússon’s life, and the rulings from the trials. Though hardly pleasant to read,
A Story of Sufferings is a literary masterpiece in the original. It should be of interest to students of mystical religion and to historians of the witchcraft craze that plagued Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.