In 1981, as part of her pioneering work into the early modern Scottish witch trials, Christina Larner published a map of their geographical density.1 It showed a marked decrease from south-east to north-west, with most occurring in Fife, the Lothians and the Eastern Borders. The Northern and Western Highlands and the Hebrides — a huge area, covering almost a third of the country — were blank, and the key to them bore the confirmatory note ‘no cases’. Across this empty area of territory was an additional inscription: ‘Gaelic Speaking’. Over the intervening decades, historians of the witch trials have sometimes noted in passing their apparent absence in the Gaelic region of Scotland, the ‘Gàidhealtachd’. In 1996 another significant map was published by Robin Briggs in his survey of European witchcraft beliefs, which plotted the incidence of trials across the whole continent....

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