The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials

The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials

by Marion L. Starkey, Marion Lena Starkey


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This historical narrative of the Salem witch trials takes its dialogue from actual trial records but applies modern psychiatric knowledge to the witchcraft hysteria. Starkey's sense of drama also vividly recreates the atmosphere of pity and terror that fostered the evil and suffering of this human tragedy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385035095
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/05/1969
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 425,516
Product dimensions: 5.16(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Marion Lena Starkey was the author of numerous works of history. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Starkey worked as a newspaper editor for the Saugus Herald and taught at the Hampton Institute and at the University of Connecticut at New London.

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The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was long and drawn out and made the Salem Witch Trials sound boring and uneventful. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone to read because it just went on and on, unless you have trouble sleeping because this book would be able to put you to sleep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read this book for my 200-level university American History class. As a historical text, it was not worth my time. For Starkey to claim she can analyze the psyche of pre-teen girls 250 years ago (at the time of her publishing) and label their psychosis as the catalyst for the trials is a bit far-fetched. If one takes it merely as a story, it can be an enjoyable read.
freddiefreddie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starkey uses the now rather dated technique of Freudian analysis (which she cops to right in her title) to inspect the hysteria surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692. Whether or not this was an appropriate way to study a sordid tale from Puritan times (I don't believe it was), I got the feeling she was trying to inject drama into a story that already had plenty of drama. I would have gotten more out of it had she talked more about the link between Puritans and their homeland of England, and the demons and spirits they brought with them overseas.
sgerbic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reviewed July 2006 I never really knew much about this subject but felt I should get some background also it appears to e a required book for SJSU in the colonial history class. I found this book to be very difficult to read not because of the writing style but more because it was extremely difficult to believe that people could be so stupid. They even hung the ¿guilty¿ based on no evidence at all. Also difficult to follow are the Quaker names, tons of Mary¿s throughout the story, Also the author uses Goody a lot, I think it is a term like Mr. or Mrs. probably has something to do with the word `godly¿. This is a good book to explain the situation so it is understandable. i would have like a hand-out with the main characters on it just so I could go back and reference them as they enter and exit the story. To imagine that what happened here is mile compared to what Europe had already gone through is difficult to fathom. 16-2006
CarlaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In all honesty, even though this book has some great facts about the early 1690's I have to say that it was hard to read. For some reason my mind kept wandering as I was reading it. There were also certain things about the witch trials (and which I believe were the main motivation of them) which are barely given mention in this book. A good factual read.. a boring book in totality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think its pretty funny university students could not follow this book. You also have grade school kids who read the book and were able to write a paper on it and get an A. lol Shame on you! Wasting your parents hard earned money on a college education! I did not have a problem reading this book at all. I thought it was very interested and enjoyed reading this womans take on the events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Earth2Crissy More than 1 year ago
I chose to read this book for a history 103 class of mine. The 5 people who chose to read it, was confused during the entire read to say the least. Our professor told us that he never even read the entire book because of how confusing it was. There was a usage of hundreds of names - switching back and forth through out the book of events. There are many people with the same name so it is very confusing to realize who they are exactly talking about. They use terms that no one could tell me what it means... and also sometimes quoted actual events with 17th century language. I hated it from the moment I started to read it and if I didnt have an oral presentation on it... I would have never gotten through chapter one. Do yourself a favor, if you think about getting this book, read a few pages in the store before you opt to getting it... you will see what I am talking about. Save your money and buy something a little more exciting and worth your time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this book over 25 years ago in an American History Class in college. Many interesting aspects brought up about the girls and families involved in the Salem Witch Trials which I have failed to find anywhere else as I still study this time frame of Puritan Culture in the colonies. Hard to imagine that most of this ruckus was caused by a Real Estate Scam predominately. Wanted choice land along the main road....not available. So run the families out of their homes or kill them off to take over the priceless land!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for fun because I am fascinated with witchcraft and history. This book was different from other books dealing with the same topic because it gave you a biography of the afflicted girls. All of the things I have read dealing with the Salem Witch Trials have not given such a great description of the girls who were the back bone of the trials.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book for a report at school and i got an A+ and extra credit! It's enjoyable to read also!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an 8th grade student and have been trying to do my report. I found this book very helpful and I've been very intrested in the book and read it in 2 days. I think the book can really help with reports.