A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

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Overview

"During the bleak winter of 1692 in the rigid Puritan community of Salem Village, Massachusetts, a group of young girls began experiencing violent fits, allegedly tormented by Satan and the witches who worshipped him. From the girls' initial denouncing of an Indian slave, the accusations soon multiplied. In less than two years, nineteen men and women were hanged, one was pressed to death, and over a hundred others were imprisoned and impoverished." This history illuminates the episode with clarity, from the opportunistic Putnam clan, who fanned
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Overview

"During the bleak winter of 1692 in the rigid Puritan community of Salem Village, Massachusetts, a group of young girls began experiencing violent fits, allegedly tormented by Satan and the witches who worshipped him. From the girls' initial denouncing of an Indian slave, the accusations soon multiplied. In less than two years, nineteen men and women were hanged, one was pressed to death, and over a hundred others were imprisoned and impoverished." This history illuminates the episode with clarity, from the opportunistic Putnam clan, who fanned the crisis to satisfy personal vendettas and greed, to four-year-old "witch" Dorcas Good, chained to a dank prison wall in darkness till she went mad. By placing the distant period of the Salem witch trials in the larger context of more contemporary eruptions of mass hysteria and intolerance, the author has created a work as thought-provoking as it is emotionally powerful.

This compelling study of the horrific Salem witch trials--the first of its kind in over 45 years--draws strength from new psychological insights into the roots of the hysteria that spurred the witch hunts of the late 1600s, and links them with contemporary "witch hunts" of the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

Sandra F. VanBurkleo
"...Hill aims to tell the story of the witchcraft trials for a lay audience -- accessibly, with minimal scholarly apparatus....in short...[she] marries imagined and imaginary pats in a responsible way....But, in the end, this book isnow what the public (or students in university survey courses) ought to be reading...[because it] is not accurate or informed enough to pass muster....." -- The Women's Review of Books
From the Publisher
"Hill reminds us that 'witch-hunts are still with us.'" —-Booklist Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306811593
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 334,927
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Frances Hill, an accomplished journalist and novelist, has written The Salem Witch Trials Reader and Deliverance from Evil. She lives in London, but visits the U.S. regularly, spending every summer in Connecticut.

Wanda McCaddon has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audio publishers and has earned more than twenty-five Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She has also won a coveted Audie Award, and AudioFile has named her one of recording's Golden Voices.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I am a high school sophomore who had to do a research project on

    I am a high school sophomore who had to do a research project on the Salem Witch Trials. I have always been interested in thriller 
    books and when I chose this topic, I was immediately excited to be able to read this book. Going into this project, I did not know much
    about this topic but the simple facts that I was told. Once, I started reading this book, it was kind of slow by describing the main people
    involved and the daily life of the Abagail Williams, Betty Parris, and other girls involved. Also, it describes the culture of the Puritans in
    that time which is very odd since they had a very strict rule set. Later on in the book,  I was interested in the way Frances Hill describes
    how the details of this historical event unfolded. Hill tells it like it is a story and you are among the people instead of facts
    upon facts which can not be so interesting. A couple of chapters in the book, like chapter 3 and chapter 10, described how intense
    and how horrifying it was to be involved or to see family and close ones, being killed because they are possessed by the
    devil. I really suggest this book to anyone who wants to know more about the Salem Witch Trials because of the detailed facts that
    Hill gives in this book and it is a book that will make you want to read more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2000

    great book

    i thought that the book was really good because it had alot of history and a lot of just helpful sourses in it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 1999

    An informative account of the Salem witch trials

    Hill's book does a good job of re-telling the story of the historic colonial Salem, Massachusetts witch hunt & trials. At times, the book is boring and a difficult read. Overall, the author did a good job of researching the trials and presenting factual information about a very interesting and bizzare event in Colonial American History.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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