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1 Burnside Metaphysics- History of Magic

The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England

by

The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1682, ten years before the infamous Salem witch trials, the town of Great Island, New Hampshire, was plagued by mysterious events: strange, demonic noises; unexplainable movement of objects; and hundreds of stones that rained upon a local tavern and appeared at random inside its walls. Town residents blamed what they called "Lithobolia" or "the stone-throwing devil." In this lively account, Emerson Baker shows how witchcraft hysteria overtook one town and spawned copycat incidents elsewhere in New England, prefiguring the horrors of Salem. In the process, he illuminates a cross-section of colonial society and overturns many popular assumptions about witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

Review:

"'Baker, who teaches history at Salem State College, examines a witchcraft accusation made a decade before the more famous Salem outbreak. In June 1682, someone showered stones at a Great Island, N.H., tavern owned by a Quaker named George Walton. When the stone-throwing continued through the summer, Walton accused his neighbor, widow Hannah Jones, of witchcraft. The neighbor, in turn, charged that Walton was a wizard. Baker helpfully connects the Great Island event to other stone-throwing episodes in early New England, and he uncovers some of the social factors — including town politics, a property dispute, and struggles between Walton and his servants — that lurked underneath the Great Island drama. His examination of anti-Quaker sentiment is especially nuanced. Baker is widely read in the academic literature on witchcraft; in fact, his analysis is mostly derivative, leaning heavily on works by John Demos, Carol Karlsen, Mary Beth Norton and others. Baker's use of anachronistic analogies like 'the witchcraft accusation... might be seen as the seventeenth-century equivalent of 'playing the race card' ' do more to obscure than illuminate. Still, colonial history buffs will appreciate this account of the strange happenings in Great Island. Maps.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Emerson W. Baker teaches history at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts. He lives in York, Maine.

Table of Contents

The First Stone Is Cast * Evil Things * The Waltons * The Neighbors from Hell * Fences and Neighbors * Neighbors and Witches * Great Islands Great Matter * The Mason Family Stake their Claim * The Spread of Lithobolia * To Salem * Beyond Salem

Product Details

ISBN:
9781403972071
Author:
Baker, Emerson W
Publisher:
Palgrave MacMillan
Author:
Baker, Emerson W.
Subject:
Witchcraft & Wicca
Subject:
Witchcraft
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - State & Local - New England
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
HIS054000
Subject:
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
Subject:
Witchcraft - New Hampshire - New Castle -
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
United States/State
Subject:
Local/New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
Subject:
United States/State & Local/New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
Subject:
Metaphysics-Wicca and Goddess Worship
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes one 12-page black-and-white pho
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.6 x 5.56 x 0.625 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » General
Metaphysics » History of Magic
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism
Metaphysics » Wicca and Goddess Worship

The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Palgrave MacMillan - English 9781403972071 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Baker, who teaches history at Salem State College, examines a witchcraft accusation made a decade before the more famous Salem outbreak. In June 1682, someone showered stones at a Great Island, N.H., tavern owned by a Quaker named George Walton. When the stone-throwing continued through the summer, Walton accused his neighbor, widow Hannah Jones, of witchcraft. The neighbor, in turn, charged that Walton was a wizard. Baker helpfully connects the Great Island event to other stone-throwing episodes in early New England, and he uncovers some of the social factors — including town politics, a property dispute, and struggles between Walton and his servants — that lurked underneath the Great Island drama. His examination of anti-Quaker sentiment is especially nuanced. Baker is widely read in the academic literature on witchcraft; in fact, his analysis is mostly derivative, leaning heavily on works by John Demos, Carol Karlsen, Mary Beth Norton and others. Baker's use of anachronistic analogies like 'the witchcraft accusation... might be seen as the seventeenth-century equivalent of 'playing the race card' ' do more to obscure than illuminate. Still, colonial history buffs will appreciate this account of the strange happenings in Great Island. Maps.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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