Book recommendations needed: Salem witch trials

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Joseph Knowles, Sep 4, 2019.

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  1. Joseph Knowles

    Joseph Knowles Puritan Board Freshman

    I want to do some research on this topic for a potential podcast episode. Can anyone recommend a good book or two on the topic?
  2. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I'm interested too.
  3. loomster2000

    loomster2000 Puritan Board Freshman

    I enjoy reading the about the theology, life, times, and context of Cotton Mather, so I have done some reading on the subject of Salem witch trials. I am no expert by far, and I have not read the entirety of each of these books listed below, but what I did read helped me to have a general knowledge of this subject. I have either read entirely or referenced:

    1. A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience - Emerson Baker
    2. Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft - Boyer and Nissenbaum
    3. Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall - Eve LaPlante
    4. On Witchcraft: The Wonders of the Invisible World - Cotton Mather
    5. In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 - Mary Beth Norton
    6. The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege - Marilynne K. Roach
    7. Six Women of Salem: The United Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach
    8. The Witches: Salem, 1692 - Stacy Schiff
    9. Salem Witchcraft: With an Account of Salem Village and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects - Charles W. Upham

    Hope this helps in your research.
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  4. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Check this out.

  5. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    As an avid babylon 5 fan i was interested to read in the books that following the judgment of Cotton Mather "spectralspectrall evidence" was rejected. Admittedly this was in the context of the psi corp but it was interesting to read that michael strazinski was so well read and could draw on the historical account of the salem witch trials.
  6. Joseph Knowles

    Joseph Knowles Puritan Board Freshman

    Very helpful. Thanks!
  7. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    This book on the three Mathers has a chapter on the Salem trials which is very interesting. The section deals with Increase and Cotton Mathers' views on the spiritual world generally, as well as talking about the trials. It's not an in-depth look by any means but it may help in providing some context to how they engaged with what was happening. And it's an excellent book generally. The main take away is that the spiritual world is real and whatever was happening in Salem must be judged in that context and not dismissed on the grounds that the accusations were "far fetched" or "not possible". The book probably wouldn't be worth getting only for this topic (it is quite pricey). But if you have it already, or can get access to it for free, then it's definitely worth a look.,aps,225&sr=8-2
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