Vexed With Devils: manhood and witchcraft in Old and New England by Erika Gasser

Sat, 10/28/2017 - 4:13pm -- JGranatino

Unlike many studies that have focused exclusively upon witchcraft-possession cases in Salem and Essex County, MA, Gasser’s well-documented and researched book examines these occurrences as a “transatlantic” phenomenon, happening in England as well as in colonial New England. Gasser is particularly interested in “patriarchal imperatives” used to control both men and women of that time. The book is filled with interesting case studies of lesser-known witchcraft proceedings. She speaks of the surprisingly complex interrelationship of witchcraft-demonic possession and patriarchy, power, and contemporary notions about gender. In studying these accounts, the reader may agree that these “stories and voices emerge from the records in ways that continue to fascinate and unsettle us.” 

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