Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

I recently finished Katherine Howe's work, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. This is a great book for anyone interested in Salem, the Witch Trials, New England history, and just a wealth of descriptions and viewpoints on women's status in pre-revolutionary America. I found the book in the bargain bin and decided it looked interesting enough, but it wasn't long till I was hooked by the wonderful descriptions of Salem Town and Salem Village and Harvard among other things. The details on life in 1692 and the various figures and events were intriguing. And the perspective of magic and witchcraft really brought home a sense of what these people faced and their mindset. The main character was easy to like, given her initially myopic view of her life in that her Doctoral studies were everything. And then she is introduced to a little intrigue, family history, love, and as such re-weights certain aspects of her life. She learns to see her mother through a different lens and comes to appreciate the unexplained and her own personal family history. This is a wonderful book in general but particularly excellent for those interested in history and New England.