December 22, 2009

The Witch's Trinity

This rather bleak book by Erika Mailman takes quotations from the Malleus Maleficarum which was basically the witch-hunters guide book to start each chapter. This book was widely available because of the development of Gutenberg's press some 30 years earlier. The Salem witch trials are famous but Europe also had it's witch hunts and trials. This is set in a small village facing famine and looking for scape goats. The writing is spare and elegant. The desperation and the humanity of the characters is delineated hauntingly and in spite of the quite horrible things that happen, it manages to be uplifting because of that humanity. The author was interested in this subject because of the experience of her ancestor whose story is briefly explained at the end of the book.

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