Richard Godbeer 's The Salem Witch Trials Essay

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Because more than three hundred years have passed since the Salem Witch Trials, information regarding the matter has been lost over time. With a lack of original court documents and buildings associated with the trials, there are many misconceptions that exist of what actually took place during this time. Further, many people have unanswered questions like, “Why did the clergy dislike witchcraft?” and “Why did settlers even practice it in the first place?”. Compelled to debunk the misconceptions and interested in answering these questions, I felt drawn to study Richard Godbeer’s works.
Richard Godbeer is an author of sensory literature specializing in colonial and revolutionary America. He puts major emphasis on religious culture, gender studies, and the history of sexuality. Some of his works include The Sexual Revolution in Early America, Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, The Overflowing of Friendship: Love Between Men and the Creation of the American Republic, and The Salem Witch Hunt: A Brief History with Documents. Being recognized from a wide range of institutions including the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, he won the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch award for his very first work titled The Devil’s Dominion: Magic and Religion in Early New England. This book vividly describes the complex relationships between magic, astrology, witchcraft…

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