Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe + Giveaway

Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America

From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft, never failing to horrify, intrigue, and delight.

My thoughts...I loved reading through THE PENGUIN BOOK OF WITCHES! Such a unique book. Lots of court documents from witch trials of long ago. I won't lie and say old English is easy to read (and I didn't always completely follow), but it really makes the time period more real. I mean this is real! Real court cases against witches!

This is not a sit down and read a story book, but a book full of real accounts of accused witches. If you are at all interested in learning more about the history and reading some very interesting stories about witches, then this is a must read. I think my favorite read in the book was Possession of Elizabeth Knapp. I really enjoyed it. Oh but I should have been paging to the notes at the end of the book!
The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe 
Giveaway is US only and no PO Boxes! Sorry!

 Katherine Howe, the direct descendant of three accused Salem witches, is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, The House of Velvet and Glass, and the young-adult novel Conversion, a modern-day retelling of The Crucible set in a Massachusetts prep school. She teaches in the American Studies program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Editorial Reviews
“Haunting . . . Erudite, insightful, and resonant . . . There are unsettling, inescapable parallels to the recent police violence in Ferguson, Mo. . . . The Penguin Book of Witches . . . provides invaluable historical context, and makes fascinating reading about a past that all too well illuminates the present.” —NPR.org

“I am just glad there is now, in this world, a book with the title The Penguin Book of Witches, because, really, how cool is that.” —John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award–winning author

“Fascinating and insightful. With her usual skill, Katherine Howe navigates the winding path leading to Salem’s hysteria and beyond. A must-read for anyone who wants to know not only what happened but also how and why.” —Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader

“This comprehensive collection of carefully selected documents and published primary materials, coupled with judicious and informative introductions, will help modern readers understand the seemingly inexplicable and persistent popular phenomenon of belief in witchcraft from the seventeenth century into more modern times.” —Mary Beth Norton, author of In the Devil’s Snare

“An informative and engaging series of texts that Katherine Howe introduces in a crisp and well-informed manner. The chronological breadth is unusual, but it allows us to grasp more fully the continuities that mark the history of witch-hunting on both sides of the Atlantic.” —David D. Hall, Harvard Divinity School

“With insightful notations . . . this superbly edited and annotated work provides in-depth material for those interested in the origins of witchcraft persecution in America.” —Library Journal


  1. I've been eyeing this book. I love reading about witches. Vampires and zombies don't interest me but witches?....sign me up! I need to get my hands on a copy. What a perfect Halloween read!

  2. When I think of witches, I don't think of the Wiccan ones or on TV. I think of the ones that were criminalized and killed for the accusations at Salem's witch trials. I'm intrigued with that part of history because I know that many I those deaths and accusations were due to property and possessions the people had (not demon possessed)...actually belongings. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I love Katherine, and I've been dying to read this.