Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Six Women of Salem
Roach, Marilynne K. Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials. New York: Da Capo Press, 2013.
Roach has taken the lives of six women affiliated with the infamous witch trials of Salem Village and told their story over a longer period of time than just the trials. In telling these six lives, she has also touched on the lives of others who were accused and convicted. The author has done a great deal of research on each of these women (and a few others as well), but I found her method of documentation very annoying. Instead of using footnotes or end notes with numbering at the locations where documentation was needed, she instead chose an unconventional end note method which gave the chapter title and then a rough topic and the source. I disliked this very much because I really did not know if the author was citing her sources or not until I got to the end, since I was reading an electronic version of the book. I am fairly certain that she omitted documenting some pieces of information that needed documentation because of her method. I think that her documentation method makes this most useful for casual readers and sadly, only a marginal read, for more serious students of history and genealogists. I was delighted to find several mentions of my 8th great grand-aunt Mary Perkins Bradbury in the narrative although she was not one of the six subjects. There was not a great deal that I had not learned from other sources, but it was interesting to read about how much her accuser had disliked her. (Her accuser was one of the six.) This review is based on an advance e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.