The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World / Malcolm Gaskill.
- ISBN: 9780593316573
- ISBN: 0593316576
- Physical Description: 305 pages ; 24 cm
- Edition: First American edition.
- Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, 
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
A voice that said 'death' -- Here we must be happy -- Temptations of desire -- Sleeveless errands -- I hear my child is dead -- Strange dreams -- That dumb dog -- Converse with the devil -- New Witchland -- Epilogue: An end to all affection.
"A gripping story of a family tragedy brought about by witch-hunting in Puritan New England that combines history, anthropology, sociology, politics, theology and psychology. In Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Preciousfood spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes, and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. A woman is seen wading through the swamp like a lost soul. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion soon falls on a young couple with two small children: the prickly brickmaker, Hugh Parsons, and his troubled wife, Mary. Drawing on rich, previously unexplored source material, Malcolm Gaskill vividly evokes a strange past, one where lives were steeped in the divine and the diabolic, in omens, curses and enchantments. The Ruin of All Witches captures an entire society caught in agonized transition between superstition and enlightenment, tradition and innovation"-- Provided by publisher.
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