A Discovery of Witches - Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

Deborah Harkness
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Summary

In Chapter 1, Dr. Diana Bishop is in the Bodleian Library on the Oxford Campus. She is an American historian and tenured professor from Yale who is conducting research for a year at Oxford. She has received a pile of manuscripts she requested for her work on the history of alchemy. Gillian Chamberlain is another American in the building, also conducting research. Both are witches, but Gillian embraces her heritage while Diana denies hers. She has “created a life that depends on reason and scholarly abilities, not inexplicable hunches and spells” (3). Diana is descended from Bridget Bishop, the first woman executed during the Salem Witch Trials. Her parents, Rebecca Bishop and Stephen Foster, were killed in Africa. Diana's aunt, Sarah Bishop, raised her from that point at her home in Upper New York. Rebecca's magic had always frightened Diana a little. She struggled with...

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This section contains 2,176 words
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