With the same narrative flair as her captivating biography of Cleopatra, Schiff’s account of the Salem Witch Trials is a dazzling, insightful, and beautifully written portrait of colonial America, the pressures the New World colonies faced, and the women at the heart of the story. An emotionally powerful tale told by a gifted storyteller, this is history at its finest. Recommended By Michal D., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.
The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.
As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, The Witches is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story — the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.
"Compulsively readable....The best-selling Schiff never disappoints, and her eagerly anticipated account of the Salem witchcraft tragedy lives up to expectations, providing a fascinating account of one of the most infamous years in American history." Booklist (starred review)
"This fully documented narrative...will find a welcome audience among readers of witchcraft or colonial histories as well as Schiff's legion of fans." Library Journal
"Schiff's books are based on serious scholarly research, yet they're conveyed in bright, accessible prose... She displays the same sharp intelligence and eclectic interests that distinguish her body of work." Publishers Weekly (Most Anticipated Books of the Fall)
"[A] fresh take on the Salem witch trials." Mackenzie Cummings-Grady, Boston Globe
About the Author
Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, Pulitzer Prize finalist; A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize; and Cleopatra: A Life.
Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the
National Endowment for the Humanities and an award in literature from
the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Named a 2011 Library Lion by
the New York Public Library, she lives in New York City.