17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials

A 17th Century Colonial New England Bibliography

This is a sometimes-annotated bibliography of the books in my personal reference library as I research 17th century colonial New England. There are a lot about the Salem witch-hunt, Puritan thought, and Anglo-Indian contact, but also a few odds and ends that make sense to me to have on hand. Please note: I do not lend books. To anyone. Most of these titles can be borrowed from any good public or university library. If you want to purchase a copy of any of these titles, I have included direct links to Amazon.com for all but a handful of out-of-print or hard-to-find local imprint titles. To print out the whole bibliography, please use the printer-friendly version to save paper.

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Abbot | Axtell | Begiebing | Boyer | Breitwieser | Briggs | Carlson | Cronon | Demos | Earhart
Francis | Gildrie | Greven | Hall | Hill | Jackson | Kramer | Lockridge | Mather | Miller
Nevins | Powell | Robinson | Rowlandson | Sewall | Starkey | Thompson | VanDerBeets | Weisman | Winslow


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  1. Hill, Frances. A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials. Doubleday: New York. 1995. Order from Amazon.com

    This is supposedly a "feminist psychoanalytical" reading of the events in Salem Village in 1692, but was disappointing. It provides some interpretation about what the individuals may have been feeling about one another, but very little discussion based in psycholanysis. She mentions Freud's early work with "hysterics," and claims that the symptoms he and his colleagues describe match the symptoms described by witnesses to the people who claimed to be afflicted by witches, claiming that general "helplessness" rather than incest is the cause of hysteria. She does not believe that most of the suffering of the afflicted was acting.
  2. Hill, Frances. Hunting for Witches: A Visitor's Guide to the Salem Witch Trials. Commonwealth Editions: New York. 2002. Order from Amazon.com

    A guidebook for anyone wanting to visit the Salem area and see where it all happened.
  3. Hill, Frances, ed.. The Salem Witch Trials Reader. DaCapo Press: New York. 2000. Order from Amazon.com

  4. Hoffer, Peter Charles. Law and People in Colonial America. Revised edition Johns Hopkins: Baltimore. 1998. Order from Amazon.com

  5. Hoffer, Peter Charles. The Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Johns Hopkins: Baltimore. 0000. Order from Amazon.com

  6. Hoffer, Peter Charles. The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History. University of Kansas: Lawrence, KS. 1997. Order from Amazon.com

    I expected book to be more about the legalities of the times and cases, but it was mostly just another telling of the tale, and not really very situated in the law.
  7. Holifield, E. Brooks. Era of Persuasion: American Thought and Culture 1521-1680. Hall: Boston. 1989. Order from Amazon.com


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This page was last updated Feb. 15, 2009 by Margo Burns, My email address.