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Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England

Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0393317596

Cover of Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England 98 (ISBN 978-0393317596)
ISBN13: 978-0393317596
ISBN10: 0393317595
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
Published: 1998
International: No

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Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0393317596

Carol F. Karlsen

ISBN13: 978-0393317596
ISBN10: 0393317595
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.

Published: 1998
International: No
Summary

Confessing to "Familiarity with the Devils," Mary Johnson, a servant, was executed by Connecticut officials in 1648. A wealthy Boston widow, Ann Hibbens, was hanged in 1656 for casting spells on her neighbors. In 1662, Ann Cole was "taken with very strange Fits" and fueled an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Hartford a generation before the notorious events in Salem took place.

More than three hundred years later the question still haunts us: Why were these and other women likely witches? Why were they vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft? In this work Carol Karlsen reveals the social construction of witchcraft in seventeenth-century New England and illuminates the larger contours of gender relations in that society.


"A pioneer work in . . . the sexual structuring of society. This is not just another book about witchcraft."

--Edmund S. Morgan, Yale University


"A remarkable achievement. The 'witches' come alive in this book, not as stereotypes, but as real women living in a society that suspected and feared their independence and combativeness."

--Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History, Cornell University

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