Salem witch trials | George Lyman Kittredge

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of Salem witch trials.
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SOURCE: "Witchcraft and the Puritans," in Witchcraft in Old and New England, 1929. Reprint by Russell & Russell, 1958, pp. 329–74.

In the following excerpt, Kittredge asserts that belief in witchcraft was common throughout history and points out that the witchcraft trials in the American colonies were remarkably limited in number.

… It is frequently stated, and still oftener assumed, that the outbreak at Salem was peculiar in its virulence, or, at all events, in its intensity. This is a serious error, due, like other misapprehensions, to a neglect of the history of witchcraft as a whole. The fact is, the Salem excitement was the opposite of peculiar,—it was perfectly typical. The European belief in witchcraft, which our forefathers shared without exaggerating it, was a constant quantity. It was always present, and continuously fraught with direful possibilities. But it did not find expression in a steady and...

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This section contains 10,850 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the George Lyman Kittredge
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