Stacy Schiff’s The Witches: Salem 1692 was an incredible disappointment. I’m an avid reader; two of my favorite subjects are history and the supernatural. I’m enthralled by both fictitious history and the bloody reality of our collective past. Therefore, when my favorite non-fiction author published a work on the Salem Witch Trials – combining history and the supernatural – I was thrilled. Schiff’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning work, Cleopatra: A Life, had taught me nearly as much about the ancient world as my university class, “Roman Achievement.” Schiff painted ancient Alexandria so vividly that, should I ever invest in time travel, the Egyptian city will probably be my first stop.
Cleopatra’s clever nature, her humor, her strife, it all beat like a living heart off the pages in Schiff’s biographical work. I expected The Witches to deliver a a similarly educational but moving portrait of New England’s dark history. After reading Cleopatra…
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