What I’m reading next (mostly about war and witch trials)
Just a quick little update here, in case anyone is puzzled about the focus of the blog shifting away from colonial America over the past week or two without explanation.
The shift is temporary: I won’t be blogging about the colonies forever, but I’m not done with them just yet. After finishing Laurel Ulrich’s Good Wives, I took a bit of time to think about what to read next, and while doing that I found several interesting bits and pieces amongst my grandmother’s files of twentieth-century family history material, and posted about those as a sort of light relief/intermission between reading projects.
I’ve just placed an Amazon order for these three titles:
Mary Beth Norton: In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 Norton is a Cornell professor. This book sounds fascinating; also, like Good Wives, it’s relevant to my research (I had a selection of ancestors floating around Salem and wider Essex County at the time of the witch trials). Publisher’s Weekly said: “Part of the originality of this study lies in Norton’s refusal to read events through the lens of contemporary psychology, offering instead a lively account of the ways 17th-century men and women would have thought about them.” Surely no family historian could resist that?
Jill Lepore: The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity I dithered a bit about this one, as the readers’ reviews are so mixed, but eventually ordered it. (Of course Amazon reviews must be treated with caution; “Steve”‘s
moronic review of Good Wives underlines this nicely.) I’m just very keen to read Lepore, as discussed here in earlier posts. Her recent The Whites of Their Eyes sounds like it might be a more accessible book, but this is the one that it makes sense for me to try first in terms of putting family history into context.
Carol Berkin: Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence Just saw this as I was clicking around among other titles and thought it looked appealing.
While I wait for the books to arrive, I’ll continue to transcribe and post Augusta Parsons Hylander‘s diverting account of her Swedish childhood and emigration to America; and then we can return back to the wars and witches of the seventeenth century.
I reserve the right to completely change my mind about all of the above, but right now, this is the plan … and now I’ve written it down I’m getting quite excited. Nothing like a blogging project to justify spending money on books!