Emily's Reviews > The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials

The Devil in Massachusetts by Marion L. Starkey
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Mar 11, 11


Religion is dangerous. So are teenage girls. This seems to be the main theme of this book. Starkey has gathered myriad sources on the Salem Witch Trials and managed to put together a cohesive account which is neither dry nor dense. Though written in 1949, it is comprehensible to the modern reader and also fascinating. Starkey has taken great care not to fabricate action or dialogue in order to add drama to her tale; she hardly needs to. She has copied entire sections of dialogue from court reports and detailed diaries of eyewitnesses to the trials.
Starkey also claims in her introduction that she has tried to apply some 'modern psychology' to the major players in the conflict, but I saw little evidence of that. There was definitely some borderline personality disorder among the 'afflicted girls,' most notably Abigail Williams.
Overall, an engaging and informative non-fiction work.
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