Today, as evidenced by the undying popularity of Harry Potter, it seems incomprehensible that a large majority of Western society would ever look upon witchcraft with anything but sparkling adoration. Yet only four centuries ago, it probably was more common to burn witches than read about their marvelous adventures.
Europe of the 15th century was locked in the loosening, albeit terrible grips of the Black Plague. Death and decay besieged the landscape. Fear was rife, and the population was riven with it.