• Escaping Salem

Escaping Salem

Escaping Salem

( from 1 reviews )
  • Author
    Richard Godbeer
  • Publisher
    Oxford University Press Usa
  • Publication date
    26 November 2020

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Book Description

Few events in American history are as well remembered as the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. But there was another witch hunt that year, in Stamford, Connecticut, that has never been examined in depth. Now Richard Godbeer describes this "other witch hunt" in a concise, fascinating narrative that illuminates the colonial world and shatters the stereotype of early New Englanders as quick to accuse and condemn. That stereotype originates with Salem, which was in many ways unlike other outbreaks of witch-hunting in the region.
Drawing on eye-witness testimony, Godbeer tells the story of Kate Branch, a seventeen-year-old afflicted by strange visions and given to blood-chilling wails of pain and fright. Branch accused several women of bewitching her, two of whom were put on trial for witchcraft. The book takes us inside the courtroom--and inside the minds of the surprisingly skeptical Stamford townfolk. Was the pain and screaming due to natural causes, or to supernatural causes? Was Branch simply faking the symptoms? And if she was bewitched, why believe her specific accusations, since her information came from demons who might well be lying? For the judges, Godbeer shows, the trial was a legal thicket. All agreed that witches posed a real and serious threat, but proving witchcraft (an invisible crime) in court was another matter. The court in Salem had become mired in controversy over its use of dubious evidence. In an intriguing passage, Godbeer examines Magistrate Jonathan Selleck's notes on how to determine the guilt of someone accused of witchcraft--an illuminating look at what constituted proof of witchcraft at the time. The stakes were high--if found guilty, the two accused women would be hanged.
In the afterword, Godbeer explains how he used the trial evidence to build his narrative, an inside look at the historian's craft that enhances this wonderful account of life in colonial New England.

Book Detail

  • Book Title

    Escaping Salem

  • Author

    Richard Godbeer

  • Date Published

    26 November 2020

  • Publisher

    Oxford University Press Usa

  • Pages

    177 pages

  • ISBN

    9780195161298

Book Reviews

  • User294785

    4.5 starsThanks to EUROBOOK and my winning this book, I was able to get an advanced look into Richard Godbeer's newest book Escaping Salem. Having been very much spooked by his Escaping Salem, I was quite happy to once again enter the world of "spookdom" and read this story. Teenagers are quite impressionable. They often believe a lot of things and try to grab onto concepts and ideas that at times seems quite out of the norm. They often make ready partners, easily led, and make decisions that oftenti.

  • User392855

    A short but w lovely book for fans of both authors, but also a lot of insight into freedom of speach, creativity and the importance of libraries. Some words to take to heart, some words to live by, some words to get (more) liberated in the pursuit of artistic endeavours. Definitely a good thing to read. You don't know it yet, but it's likely you need this book.

  • User345211

    I'm pretty sure Richard Godbeer books just exist to capture and devour your entire SOUL AND IMAGINATION. I just went on such a wild adventure omg, I feel actually drained. Like this duology has totally filled my creative well. I am heart eyes and my heart so so full and !!!! my emotions are just !!! which is exactly how a professionally reviewer would summarise a book.

  • User95812

    I know a lot of us were expecting Escaping Salem to be good, but I have to say, this book actually exceeded my expectations. I have a lump in my throat and I can't stop thinking about it. I usually spend time making detailed notes while reading a book but, at one point, I opened Notes on my computer just to type "oh fucking god, this is so good".

  • User192812

    DANG THIS BOOK IS GOOD. Full review coming, just need to collect my thoughts. I LOVED this - absolutely worth adding to your summer TBR!!.

  • Mary

    not going to lie, i'm feeling PRETTY special for receiving an advance copy of this(okay yes i haven't read Escaping Salem but still)

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