'The Life of the Death of "The Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin": Storytelling around the Museum of Witchcraft'

Cornish, Helen. 2013. 'The Life of the Death of "The Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin": Storytelling around the Museum of Witchcraft'. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 22(1), pp. 79-97. ISSN 1755-2923 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The skeleton of Joan Wytte, or the Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin, was displayed in the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall in the UK for several decades until her eventual burial in nearby woodland in the autumn of 1999. Her story has been deployed as a critical historical source and a demonstrable link between Cornwall and magical histories. It is well established that the past is recorded and represented through narratives, artefacts and events in multiple and diverse ways, and museums are often idealised sites for historical knowledge. Historicity is contingent on current needs and agendas, and often contested. Through retelling over time certain elements are highlighted or downplayed. Since the burial, the life and death of Joan Wytte has become vividly invested with new meanings as her story becomes incorporated into the landscapes of folklore, Cornish histories and magical practices.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2013.220106

Keywords:

BRITISH WITCHCRAFT; CORNWALL; HISTORICITY; STORYTELLING

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology

Dates:

DateEvent
1 March 2013Published

Item ID:

11752

Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2015 08:49

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 11:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11752

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