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. Weisman, Richard. Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion in 17th-Century Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Press: Amherst, MA. 1984. Order from Amazon.com

  2. Wendell, Barrett. Cotton Mather: A Biography. Reprint of 1891 edition. Barnes & Noble: New York. 1992. Order from Amazon.com

  3. Wessels, Tom. Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England. Coountryman Press: Woodstock, VT. 1997. Order from Amazon.com

  4. Whiting, Gertrude. Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework. Originally published in 1928 under the title Tools and Toys of Stitchery Dover: New York`. 1971. Order from Amazon.com

  5. Williams, John. The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion: To Which Is Added a Biographical Memoir of the Reverend Author With an Appendix and Notes. Reprinted from the 1853 edition. Applewood Books: Bedford, MA. 1989. Order from Amazon.com

  6. Williams, Roger. A Key into the Language of America: or, An help to the Language of the Natives in that part of America, called New-England. Reprint of the fifth edition of 1936. Originally piub;lished in 1643 Applewood Books: Bedford, MA. 0000. Order from Amazon.com

  7. Wilson, Lori Lee. The Salem Witch Trials. How History Is Invented series. Lerner: Minneapolis. 1997. Order from Amazon.com

    This is an excellent book for young historians, including not only a wealth of images, but a clear treatment of the facts as they are known and how historians over the years have chosen to interpret the events, from 17th century contemporaries to the psychological theories of hysteria at the turn of this century to current feminist critique. Of the many books about the trials written for teenagers, this one is far and away the best, especially as it describes what historians actually do, and does not simply claim that its single telling the tale is the definitive one. There's a chapter about Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, and about current-day Salem and the modern marketing of "Witch City."

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