The Witches: Salem, 1692

November 1, 2015 - Comment

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff’s account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

Comments

Jill Meyer says:

“We must not believe all that these distracted children say”… The line in the title of this review was said by Martha Corey, who was hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.Many years ago, when I was a child, I read and was utterly fascinated by a book called, “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”, by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s still in print today, so perhaps more recent generations of impressionable readers have also been “bewitched” by the book. “Blackbird Pond” started me on a lifelong interest in witches. (The…

Dr. Wayne S. Swift says:

” I challenge anyone to find any better examples of writing “Their dark, however, was a very different dark. The sky over New England was crow-black, pitch-black, Bible black, so black it could be difficult at night to keep to the path, so black that a line of trees might migrate freely to another location or that you might find yourself pursued after nightfall by a rapid black hog, leaving you to crawl home.” I challenge anyone to find any better examples of writing. Stacy Schiff takes me deeply into the world of Salem so I can see it and…

Scott Chamberlain says:

Novelistic and terrifying Like many people, I’ve long been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. They seems to embody so many contradictions and unsolvable debates that sit at the core of American life, such as public good vs. the rights of the rights of the individual, individual courage vs. mob mentality, or religion vs. rationalism. Plus, the struggle to create a just legal system, public safety, the idea of capital punishment, what constitutes as legal evidence, presumption of innocence, and more…

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