The Penguin Book of Witches (Paperback)

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By Katherine Howe (Editor), Katherine Howe (Introduction by), Katherine Howe (Notes by)
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Staff Reviews

This collection of primary sources--edited by Katherine Howe, author of CONVERSION--shows that truth is genuinely more fascinating than fiction when it comes to that most ubiquitous of Halloween figures: the witch. THE PENGUIN BOOK OF WITCHES takes readers on a tour through some of the most storied figures of witch lore and legend from 1582 to 1813, including texts like King James I’s DAEMONOLOGIE, stories of possession from early America, and the real treasure of the book: the transcripts of the famed Salem Witch Trials, from the actual court records. Reading these conversations, full of severe judges and with full descriptions of the interjections of the “afflicted” girls during questioning, it’s easy to understand how the frenzy of these trials has captivated our collective imagination for so long. Howe’s introductions to and notes on each text (really, read the pages of notes at the end!) add incredible depth and little-known witchcraft knowledge to these stories--this book is a must-read for fans of the historical and supernatural.

— Liz


Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America, compiled by the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and Conversion
From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About the Author

Katherine Howe, the direct descendant of three accused Salem witches, is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, The House of Velvet and Glass, and the young-adult novel Conversion, a modern-day retelling of The Crucible set in a Massachusetts prep school. She teaches in the American Studies program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Praise For…

“Fascinating and insightful. With her usual skill, Katherine Howe navigates the winding path leading to Salem’s hysteria and beyond. A must-read for anyone who wants to know not only what happened but also how and why.” —Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader

“This comprehensive collection of carefully selected documents and published primary materials, coupled with judicious and informative introductions, will help modern readers understand the seemingly inexplicable and persistent popular phenomenon of belief in witchcraft from the seventeenth century into more modern times.” —Mary Beth Norton, author of In the Devil’s Snare

“An informative and engaging series of texts that Katherine Howe introduces in a crisp and well-informed manner. The chronological breadth is unusual, but it allows us to grasp more fully the continuities that mark the history of witch-hunting on both sides of the Atlantic.” David D. Hall, Harvard Divinity School

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143106180
ISBN-10: 014310618X
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Pages: 294
Language: English