Salem Witch Trials The Role Of Women In The Trials - Essay

The Role Of Women In The Trials

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

John Demos (essay date 1970)

SOURCE: "Underlying Themes in Witchcraft of Seventeenth-Century New England," in The American Historical Review, Vol. LXXV, No. 5, June, 1970, pp. 1311–26.

[In the following excerpt, Demos comments on the significance of the fact that most of the accused Salem witches were eccentric and / or anti-social, middle-aged women, while their accusers were girls a generation younger.]

It is faintly embarrassing for a historian to summon his colleagues to still another consideration of early New England witchcraft. Here, surely, is a topic that previous generations of writers have sufficiently worked, indeed overworked....

(The entire section is 23864 words.)