Randy Lee Cutler

Tales of Perjury

Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692

By Bernard Rosenthal

Cambridge University Press 275pp order from our bookshop

When, in 1982, Cibella Borges protested against her suspension from the police force for posing nude for a magazine, she insisted that her action had constituted no crime. ‘She said she feared “the trial is just like the New England witch-hunt. They’ve made up their minds that I am a witch and they want to bum me.”‘ In fact, none of the individuals convicted in 1692 were burned at the stake, although they were subjected to the theatricality of the gallows. With copious and detailed examples, Bernard Rosenthal argues that the constructed history of the Salem witch trials mirrors the perniciousness of the trials themselves.

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