Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege

Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege

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by Marilynne K. Roach
     
 

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Based on twenty-seven years of original archival research, including the discovery of previously unknown documents, this day-by-day narrative of the hysteria that swept through Salem Village in 1692 and 1693 reveals new connections behind the events, and shows how rapidly a community can descend into bloodthirsty madness. Roach opens her work with chapters on the

Overview

Based on twenty-seven years of original archival research, including the discovery of previously unknown documents, this day-by-day narrative of the hysteria that swept through Salem Village in 1692 and 1693 reveals new connections behind the events, and shows how rapidly a community can descend into bloodthirsty madness. Roach opens her work with chapters on the history of the Puritan colonies of New England, and explains how these people regarded the metaphysical and the supernatural. The account of the days from January 1692 to March 1693 keeps in order the large cast of characters, places events in their correct contexts, and occasionally contradicts earlier assumptions about the gruesome events. The last chapter discusses the remarkable impact of the events, pointing out how the 300th anniversary of the trials made headlines in Japan and Australia.

Editorial Reviews

Denver Post
Roach worked on this fascinating chronicle more than 25 years. She tells exactly what happened at the time, based on tons of documents and court testimony.
Booklist
Readers will come away with a much fuller pitcure of who lived in Salem and how they lived...This intriguing book offers an understanding of history that will be helpful to those studying colonial Massachusetts and of course, the notorious trials.
Richard B. Trask
Roach's new and exciting book is a marvelous compendium of well-thought-out insights, multiple facts, and little-known details on the events of the infamous 1692 Salem Village witchcraft. Her work, arranged in a day-by-day chronology, allows the reader to visualize how these events began and progressed to become the most massive witchcraft outbreak in America. It is an important addition to the literature of New England witchcraft.
Peabody Essex Museum Collections - William T. La Moy
[A] truly impressive day-by-day compendium on the course of the Salem witchcraft trials. This will be an invaluable aid to the scholarship on this pivotal episode in American history.
Benjamin C. Ray
The most complete day-by-day account of the Salem witch trials ever written. [Roach has created] a fascinating chronicle of the witchcraft episode and its long aftermath, filled with revealing social and psychological detail, accurately and gracefully written. A compelling read.
Frances Hill
This fascinating, deeply researched day-by-day account of the events of 1692 to 1697 is an extraordinarily valuable resource for any student of the Salem witch trials.
Alison D'Amario
What an accomplishment! Marilynne Roach tells the story with rare detail and deep understanding. Her scholarship and sensibility make The Salem Witch Trials an invaluable must-have for those interested in the trials and the times. Reading her work is almost like being there. Outstanding.
CHOICE - G. Wood
The well-written text is formatted much like a diary of excerpted, paraphrased, and quoted documentation.
Books and Culture - Thomas S. Kidd
Marilynne K. Roach's The Salem Witch Trials is representative of this ongoing interest: her "day-by-day chronicle" will find a place on the shelves of researchers and history buffs for whom the fascination of Salem never palls.
Los Angeles Times - Marc Aronson
Useful, rigorous and historiographically current reference work.
Gainesville Daily Register - Jodelle Greiner
This book is a good reference for understanding why the accusations occured...
Publishers Weekly
The Salem witch trials of 1692-1693 remain one of the enigmas of American history. How did the witchcraft hysteria come about? Did the imaginations of the townspeople run wild so that they viewed unneighborly acts as an evil threat promulgated by Satan's minions? Roach (In the Days of the Salem Witchcraft Trial) answers these and other questions in her monumental daily chronology of the trial years. She introduces her account with an exhaustive narrative history of the Salem community from 1661 to 1691. With workmanlike precision, she provides historical details-such as the conflicts between church congregations and ministers and the increasing frequency of Indian attacks-as she contends that the hysteria arose most likely from the political, religious and social turmoil of the time. Using newly available diaries, journals and letters, Roach then reconstructs, for the first time, daily life during the height of the witch trials as well as accounts of court proceedings, arrests and suspects' confessions. In an epilogue, Roach shows that, just a decade after the trials, preachers sought repentance for the injustices done and that the desire to right the wrongs of the trials lasted well into the 19th century. Roach's detailed reference book provides deep insights into the trial years by letting us listen to the voices of everyone involved. 35 b&w illus. and maps. (Oct.) Forecasts: Roach's book will provide a nice companion to Mary Beth Norton's In the Devil's Snare (Forecasts, July 1), also being released in October; booksellers who display them together may see increased sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589791329
Publisher:
Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date:
07/28/2004
Pages:
752
Sales rank:
115,662
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.06(h) x 1.51(d)

Meet the Author

Marilynne K. Roach, author and illustrator of In the Days of the Salem Witchcraft Trials and former contributor to the Boston Globe, lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, near Boston.

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The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Salem Witch Trials is extensive in the authors research. I was amazed at the detail and the maps included were a bonus to help show where everyone was located. You really feel like you were right there in the rooms with the people being questioned. I was just mesmorized reading this and highly suggest it to anyone wanting the truth about the trials, not some heresay chronicle or what modern people think of witchcraft, if you want that goto the lifestyles section of the bookstore. This is a real account of the torture and pain and suffering of innocent people and thier families. The detailed listing of who was accused is worth buying the book alone, everything from time of death to how they died and who exactly was accused and if they were jailed, sentenced, hung, escaped, you name it, it is all there. As a bonus a few photos are given of artifacts, very nice addition. The authors writing is very smooth and easy to get into. I was worried this might read like some court recorders boring accounts but this book is far from it. If your at all interested in this part of american history pick this book up today. I doubt you will find a more accurate account of this sad time in our country's history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this book looking through the bibliography of a novel I just devoured.