Very clear review of the book The Witches Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
We’ve all heard of the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, fourteen women, five men, and two dogs were convicted of witchcraft and put to death. Another man refused to confess and was crushed to death, probably within earshot of his wife, also imprisoned for witchcraft. In his classic “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller referred to this time as the “coming madness,” a warning to us of the chaos that can envelop a community when paranoia and persecution intersect.
It started with the kids. Puritan children in Salem were expected to be miniature adults, quiet and obedient to a fault. So when girls started making strange sounds, spreading their arms out like wings and pretending to fly (basically nothing babysitters today would blink at), to their community there was only one explanation-they must have been bewitched. Perhaps jealous of the attention these children were getting, more girls started acting bewitched. And their…
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