Death in Salem: The Private Lives behind the 1692 Witch Hunt

Death in Salem: The Private Lives behind the 1692 Witch Hunt

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by Diane Foulds
     
 

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 During the 1692 witch trials, more than 150 people were arrested. An estimated 25 million Americans—including author Diane Foulds—are descended from the twenty individuals executed. What happened to our ancestors? Death in Salem is the first book to take a clear-eyed look at this complex time, by examining the lives of the witch trialSee more details below

Overview

 During the 1692 witch trials, more than 150 people were arrested. An estimated 25 million Americans—including author Diane Foulds—are descended from the twenty individuals executed. What happened to our ancestors? Death in Salem is the first book to take a clear-eyed look at this complex time, by examining the lives of the witch trial participants from a personal perspective.  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A 10th-generation descendent of one of the victims of the 1692 witch trials, Foulds (Curious New England) adds to an already well-stocked repertoire in this who's-who of Salem witchcraft. Heavy on facts, though light on narrative flair, Foulds breaks her account into sections of each group involved in the hunts, from the accusers to the clergy and judges. These biographical sketches of recorded participants are laid out in personal detail, each one building upon and backing up its predecessor. Readers will learn how neglected 17-year-old girls planted a fear that reached to the spiritual and judicial leaders of their community. Together, these compact portraits paint a familiar picture of a repressed and paranoid society in the midst of chaotic change. Unfortunately, while the introductions to each section provide comprehensive background information, the entries devoted to describing the Salem villagers' lives tend to devolve into lists of marriages, political connections, pending civil suits, and familial lore, leaving the narrative feeling fragmented. The author's inability to weed out the unessential details can make for a frustrating read, but those interested in the subject will be fascinated by the close look into the lives of the players who shaped this chaotic time in our history. (Aug. 2010)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762766406
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
271,502
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Death in Salem

The Private Lives behind the 1692 Witch Hunt
By Diane E. Foulds

Globe Pequot

Copyright © 2010 Diane E. Foulds
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780762759095

From chapter 1, “The Accusers”
With so much resting on intangibles, it’s little wonder that the young women of Salem Village indulged in occasional fortune-telling. . . .
So what a relief it must have been in 1692, when a physician cleared them of guilt by proclaiming them the victims of sorcery. . . . Girls who had been bored and neglected now found themselves pitied and awed, even deferred to, until the game got out of hand. Before they knew it, distracted children were sending innocents to their deaths.
. . . What had started with a few tremulous girls evolved into a cathartic exorcism engaging every segment of the community. As the following profiles reveal, the pent-up hostilities that fueled it went far deeper than anyone might have guessed.

Continues...

Excerpted from Death in Salem by Diane E. Foulds Copyright © 2010 by Diane E. Foulds. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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