Carla Remy'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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's review
Jul 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Read from July 19 to August 10, 2012

Very mixed feelings but mostly horror at the things people can do to each other (in the name of the Bible). It is such a disturbing story. Spectral Evidence. This book predates the modern theory of ergot poisoning, but knowing more of what actually happened, I say the theory of ergot poisoning could only account for a fragment. I mean, spectral evidence (people's fantasies and feelings admitted in court). Neighbors turning on neighbors. Way too much power being given to teenaged girls. Obvious psychological bubble, but that's no excuse. My mixed feelings are for a bit too much fictionalizing of the history - like what people were thinking. I find it offensive - I'm ok with straight non fiction. This is from 1949 though, and apparently Starkey was one of the first historians to have access to the Salem trials documents.

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