Dancing in the Palm of his Hand

Author: Annamarie Beckel
Genre: Fiction
Dimensions: 12 × 8 × 2 in
Weight: 1 kg
Published: August 14, 2005
ISBN: 1-55081-217-3
EAN: 978-1-55081-217-6

Dancing in the Palm of His Hand is a novel about the horrors of the European witch persecutions as revealed through Eva Rosen, a young widow accused of witchcraft, her persecutor Wilhelm Hampelmann, and her defender Franz Lutz.

A cautionary tale about the dangers of religious zealotry, the novel recreates the world of early 17th century Germany when sexual repression and religious war were encouraged, rigid patriarchy prevailed in church, state, and family – and no one questioned the existence of witches or their master, the Devil.

Dancing in the Palm of his hand was used at the University of Wisconsin as a required text in the history course “The Making of Modern Europe,” spring semester 2006 and 2007. It was also used at the University of Winnipeg in the history course “Women in Modern Europe,” fall 2006.


“[A] major work…the reader is ever conscious of the setting and the horrific tenor of the of the times…[Beckel] succeeds in breathing life into the characters; they are real and superbly individualized…a splendid literary creation that is an important socio-historical document as well…The pervasive darkness that this great novel depicts offers, too, the luminously redemptive influence of love. I have used the word ‘great’ in no facile way, I assure you, for the creation resonates with the power of the works of such masters as Hawthorne and Miller.”

– Enos Watts, author of After the Locusts, Autumn Vengeance, and Spaces Between the Trees (shortlisted for the 2005 Winterset Award).

“Two things make this book shine. First, the book is remarkably well researched….Secondly (and most rewarding for readers looking for more than a fresh account of the witch trials) is a series of small, bridging passages where the author allows Satan a first-person commentary on the ordeals that grip Eva.”

– Bruce Johnson, Atlantic Books Today

“Ultimately, this is where Beckel’s book shines: in its treatment of ordinary people faced with a disparity between their religious beliefs and their own moral sense.”

Mark Callanan, The Independent

Read more reviews at www.annamariebeckel.com

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