Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America's first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.
This event and Alice's ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut's Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years.
Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather's written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.
The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history and in the life of Alice (Alse) Young, America's first witch hanging victim.
|Publisher:||Beth M Caruso|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Amazing historical fiction about Alice Young, the first woman hanged as a witch, the author obviously did a lot of research to present the facts in a compelling story.
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite It’s always fascinating to see how an author has created an absorbing and informative story around some obscure historical person. That is what Beth M Caruso has done so very well in One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging. That so-called witch was Alice (Alse) Young, and by the time you close the book, you’ll shake your head and wonder how many other young women, who were convicted and hanged in the Salem witch trials in the late 1600s, were railroaded as Alice was. Historical fiction, yes, but based on very real and unfounded beliefs held against women as a result of religious extremism. Despite the author’s extensive research into this era and into Alice, Beth M Caruso could find very little about her heroine. Hence, beginning with her birth in England and eventual move with her employers to New England, specifically Massachusetts, and later Connecticut, Caruso recreates a likely timeline for Alice, typical of young women in the 1600s. Alice is polite, sweet, a little shy, and in the new land she learns about herbs and natural healing through Indian women and her own employer. She marries, has a daughter, and life is reasonably good. She is loved by her original and adopted families, and appreciated by many for her gift of healing…until the pestilence (influenza) breaks out and people start dying all over the place. Alice’s life suddenly takes a very bad turn: betrayed even by those who supposedly love her, she becomes the scapegoat for the real evil-doers, and so ends a good woman’s life at the end of a noose. Tragic. Through dialogue and storytelling by various characters, Caruso has woven a wealth of information about the life and times of this historical period into One of Windsor. The plot is solid, characters are realistic, and Alice is loveable. As much as this is fiction about bygone days, one comes away realizing how little has changed: a little knowledge is, and always has been, a dangerous thing; gossip destroys, and religious extremism causes untold harm. Enjoy!