Foto do autor

About the Author

Marilynne K. Roach, a lifelong resident of Watertown, Massachusetts, is an independent scholar and works as both a historian and illustrator. She was one of the associate editors of the definitive Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt and is the author of the classic The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day mostrar mais Chronicle of a Community Under Siege. mostrar menos

Obras de Marilynne K. Roach

Associated Works

Cricket Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2, October 1977 (1977) — Contribuinte — 4 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Local de nascimento
Watertown, Massachusetts, USA
Locais de residência
Watertown, Massachusetts, USA



This hefty tome packs in a lot about the day to day history of the Salem witchcraft trials, literally, as it tells in straightforward language what happened on particular dates over the period from the beginning of the accusations, with the events in Samuel Parris' vicarage, to 1695 when the New England community was still trying to come to terms with the outcome of the disaster and to make some reparations for it.

The book also includes a useful introductory essay which should be read beforehand to set the scene of the political infighting, the ongoing war with France which was resulting in a lot of disastrous raids by the Native American tribes who were French allies, the outbreaks of disease and the other stresses on the English colony. And there is an afterword which briefly talks about the subsequent views developed over the following centuries, that the trials were the result of land disputes/teenage hysteria/fakery and how the communities themselves either tried to downplay or to commercialise the events.

The main value of this book is that it provides a sanity check when you might be reading another account of the trials because you can dip into it to check what happened on various days and what the details were, rather than read it cover to cover as I did. It does become a bit heavy going if you read it right through because at the height of the accusations so many people are brought in, often inter-related, that it's possible to get a bit lost with who was who. There are some useful tables at the back, such as one listing the accused and what happened to each of them, plus some maps at the start. The only problem I found with those was that the maps didn't cover all the areas discussed.

The book attempts to give a context for why people behaved and thought as they did, and is written in a simple narrative style. All in all it forms a good background check for any of the many other books on this subject which sometimes veer off into anachronism and flights of fancy/speculation. This one doesn't; it is factual without being too dry in style. So it is a good reference book to the time and place in question.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 1 outra resenha | Nov 23, 2023 |
I really wanted to like this more, & I was intrigued by the author's decision to meld fictional accounts of the women along with the primary & secondary source material. In the end, I don't feel that it worked. The factual segments were far too detailed and dry, & there wasn't enough of the fictional bits. In the end, it reads as 2 separate books which were unnaturally combined. To be honest, I had anticipated the opposite being true, but the writer did a marvellous job with the fictional accounts.… (mais)
thiscatsabroad | outras 7 resenhas | May 21, 2022 |
This was an enjoyable book. It was well researched, although at times it was a bit dry and the author tended to wonder off in the biographies of the women. Perhaps a tad to much information was packed into the book. But still it was an enjoyable read and similarities can be seen between modern day fear mongering and the trials themselves.
Arkrayder | outras 7 resenhas | Nov 13, 2018 |
Absolutely fascinating. The sheer amount of research in here must have taken a lifetime of work from the author. Roach manages to bring the townships, hamlets and all their population to life. I can honestly say that I have never read anything so deeply researched that brings the era alive in all its frightening glory. Resentments and squabbles between the townsfolk resulted in many people, some of them devoted, old folk being brought to trial for witchcraft. The way these people are dealt with is frightening from the speed of prosecution to the gullibility of the jury. An horrific and tragic period of American history seems to play out before the readers eyes as Roach describes each persecutor, accuser and accused in chilling detail. If you have any interest in the Salem witch trials at all, read this book. I am in awe of Roach's research skills.… (mais)
bibliobeck | outras 7 resenhas | Apr 29, 2014 |


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