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

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9780393317596: The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England
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"A pioneer work in...the sexual structuring of society. This is not just another book about witchcraft." ―Edmund S. Morgan, Yale University

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. The case of Ann Cole, who was "taken with very strange Fits," fueled an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Hartford a generation before the notorious events at Salem.

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

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A pioneer work...Carol Karlsen has uncovered the assumptions, explicit and implicit, that governed the everyday relationships of men and women in early New England.

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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. The witch-hunting hysteria that seized New England in the late seventeenth century still haunts us today. Why were these and other women likely witches? Why were certain people vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft and possession? In this fascinating work, Professor Carol Karlsen of the University of Michigan draws a compelling, richly detailed portrait of the women who were persecuted as witches. And in what Kirkus Reviews calls "an enlightening contribution to U.S. historical studies." The Devil in the Shape of a Woman gives us an unforgettable look at a society in transition, where fears and witch hunts were manifestations of much deeper sexual, religious, and economic tensions.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393024784: The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England

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ISBN 10:  0393024784 ISBN 13:  9780393024784
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc, 1987
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9780679721840: The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England

Vintage, 1989
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9780844670201: The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England

Peter ..., 1999
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