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The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry…
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The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials (original 1949; edición 1969)

por Marion L. Starkey

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7081224,507 (3.69)21
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.… (más)
Miembro:angelajoy
Título:The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials
Autores:Marion L. Starkey
Info:Anchor (1969), Paperback, 320 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:****
Etiquetas:Ninguno

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The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials por Marion L. Starkey (1949)

Añadido recientemente porJamesBeach, joshuaLawrenc_, horaklibrary, jawhite2401, glshields, Mortellus, Lahoori, rebajoco
Bibliotecas de Figuras NotablesWalker Percy
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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
I’ve been working my way through a series of books on the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692; so far this includes Stacy Schiff’s The Witches, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaums’s Salem Possessed, and Cotton Mather’s The Wonders of the Invisible World.

Marion Starkey’s The Devil in Massachusetts is the most readable so far, although the almost novelistic treatment may disguise some historical inaccuracy (in her Preface, she notes she “…has taken slight liberties with the records”). Her narration is in chronological order and her characters all have real personalities – perhaps not their actual personalities, of course. In Starkey’s version, Reverend Samuel Parris, the slave Tituba, and the children Betty Parris and Abigail Williams are somewhat more culpable in the initial events here than they are in the other books, as is Cotton Mather in the later part of the story (particularly the trial and execution of George Burroughs). Starkey, like Schiff, buys into “hysteria” as the cause of the girls’ accusations – even putting Freud in her references section. Starkey also refers to a suggestion – not in the main text but in her endnotes – that some of the accusers’ “possession” may have been due to consuming or handling Jimson weed. She doesn’t go to far with that and none of the other books I’ve read have mentioned it.

Of the work’s I’ve read, Boyer and Nissenbaum’s is the only one that really goes into the sociological background of what went on – the political and social aspects of living in 17th century Massachusetts. Starkey mentions a little of this – how the inhabitants of Salem were historically contentious, ready to dispute with each other over details of land boundaries and minister’s salaries, and suggests that perhaps some of these disputes may have metamorphosed into accusations of witchcraft.

One of the things that’s missing is any reference to the McCarthy Hearings – because they hadn’t happened yet; this book was written in 1947. And of course the Satanic Panic of the 1970s was decades in the future; in Starkey’s final chapter Massachusetts has redeemed itself by the early 1700s, offering compensation to those accused of witchcraft; there’s not the slightest suggestion that anything like Salem could ever happen again. Optimism springs eternal.

No illustrations. Starkey doesn’t use numbered notes; instead a “Notes” section has a discussion of the sources used for each chapter. There is a good reference section. The index seems sparse; I had a hard time finding some things I wanted to look up. ( )
1 vota setnahkt | Sep 29, 2019 |
This must be the research Miller used for his play, since it was first published 1949.
  deckla | May 24, 2018 |
A new and refreshing look into the Salem Witch trials. Starkey creates a whirlpool that quickly sucks the reader into the hysteria and fear of the New World at a time when witchcraft was a legitimate fear. Unlike "The Crucible" "The Devil in Massachusetts" takes a much closer look at the likely underlying causes that led to the horrific trials and executions. Come along for the ride from start to aftermath as the Puritans give in to their worst fears. ( )
  LilyRoseShadowlyn | Nov 14, 2016 |
3.25 stars

This book was originally published in 1949, and looks at the trials of the Salem witches in 1692.

The book was pretty good. Unfortunately, it just didn't make me want to pick up the book and keep reading. There were times when it was just a little dry for me, even though I am interested in the topic. There are just so many people and events (and accusations!) to keep straight! I think the research was very well done, though. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 3, 2013 |
A modern look at the Salem witch trials. First written in 1949, there is nothing about this book that feels dated except the typeface. The author writes history that reads like a novel, and even though it is a history that many have written before and since, she still brings a new voice and some new information. The dry wit and frequent use of what can only be read as sarcasm actually enhances the book. She focuses a great deal more on the character of the 'witches' than on the accusers, but she does spend a little time building up the tale to its onset with the first calling out of a witch, perhaps with a bit more interpolation than is acceptable in a purely scientific or historical work, as she makes assumptions about what is going through the mind of young Abigail Williams. After the first chapter, though, she pieces together most of her information from the copious records kept of the hearings, the diaries of people in the town, and other contemporary sources, only occasionally straying inside the psyche of the long-dead, and then usually with a disclaimer about what they "might" be thinking or feeling. Overall, a decent way to spend a few days of my reading time. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 4, 2013 |
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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.

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