Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692 by Bernard RosenthalSalem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692 by Bernard Rosenthal

Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692

byBernard RosenthalEditorAlbert Gelpi

Paperback | September 29, 1995

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Salem Story engages the story of the Salem witch trials through an analysis of the surviving primary documentation and juxtaposes that against the way in which our culture has mythologized the events of 1692. Salem Story examines a variety of individual motives that converged to precipitate the witch hunt. The book also examines subsequent mythologies that emerged from the events of 1692. Of the many assumptions about the Salem Witch Trials, the most persistent one remains that they were precipitated by a circle of hysterical girls. Through an analysis of what actually happened, through reading the primary material, the emerging story shows a different picture, one where "hysteria" inappropriately describes the events and where accusing males as well as females participated in strategies of accusation and confession that followed a logical, rational pattern.
Title:Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.67 inPublished:September 29, 1995Publisher:Cambridge University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521558204

ISBN - 13:9780521558204

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Table of Contents

1. Dark Eve; 2. The girls of Salem; 3. Boys and girls together; 4. June 10, 1692; 5. July 19, 1692; 6. August 19, 1692; 7. George Burroughs and the Mathers; 8. September 22, 1692; 9. Assessing an inextricable storm; 10. Salem story.

Editorial Reviews

"...a carefully and clearly written account....[By his] close reading of the record and its subsequent historiography Rosenthal dismantles many...assumptions (for example, adolescent female hysteria, Tituba's 'wild and strange superstitions' or the Christian martyr-figure, Rebecca Nourse) and substitutes a minimalist account of the proceedings, but one that is much more consistent with the available evidence and the applicability of theory to it....Rosenthal pays close and shrewd attention to the law as well as to theology and popular belief. The book is an instantly standard item in--and guide through--both the scholarly and popular history of the Salem trials." Choice