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The Witchcraft Delusion: The Story of the…

The Witchcraft Delusion: The Story of the Witchcraft Persecutions in…

by John M. Taylor

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 051712422X, Hardcover)

"Witchcraft is as old as human history," states John M. Taylor. "It has written its name in the oldest of human records. In all ages and among all peoples it has taken firm hold on the fears, convictions, and consciences of men." In colonial New England, laws against witchcraft were passed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven in the mid-seventeenth century. The most notorious episode of persecution occurred in 1692 in Salem, where 20 persons were executed as witches. From the 1660s to the 1690s, there were ongoing witch-hunts and trials in the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven. Several chapters of The Witchcraft Delusion are devoted exclusively to these accounts, most of which have been selected from colonial records and from original depositions. Each of the cases is presented using actual trial testimony. In addition to trial transcripts, there are such documents as the guide to discovering, accusing, and examining a witch prepared by William Jones, a deputy governor of Connecticut and a member of the court at some of the trials. Also examined is the role played by the court official known as the "searcher," who inspected the body of the accused for the Devil's mark, for it was widely believed that Satan placed a sign in a very private part of the witch's body. Included in the last chapter of The Witchcraft Delusion is "A Record of the Men and Women Who Came Under Suspicion or Accusation of Witchcraft in Connecticut, and What Befell Them." This short case by case summary reveals that from 1647 through 1697, and including two cases in 1724 and 1768, thirty-seven people, ten of them men, were brought before the civil authorities on charges of witchcraft, and eleven of them were executed. Using original materials from the colonial period -- from colony records to court testimony, Taylor expertly re-creates this bizarre period in American history, allowing the participants in the trials to speak for themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:19 -0400)

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