A Delusion of Satan

  • by Frances Hill
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

During the bleak winter of 1692 in the rigid Puritan community of Salem Village, Massachusetts, a group of young girls began experiencing violent fits, allegedly tormented by Satan and the witches who worshipped him. From the girls' initial denouncing of an Indian slave, the accusations soon multiplied. In less than two years, 19 men and women were hanged, one was pressed to death, and over a100 others were imprisoned and impoverished.
This evenhanded and now-classic history illuminates the horrifying episode with visceral clarity, from the opportunistic Putnam clan, who fanned the crisis to satisfy personal vendettas and greed, to four-year-old "witch" Dorcas Good, who was chained to a dank prison wall in darkness till she went mad. By placing the distant period of the Salem witch trials in the larger context of more contemporary eruptions of mass hysteria and intolerance, the author has created a work as thought-provoking as it is emotionally powerful.

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What the Critics Say

"Hill reminds us that 'witch-hunts are still with us'." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A new take on the Witch Trials

Would you listen to A Delusion of Satan again? Why?

Absolutely. In fact, I have had to listen to parts more closely a second time since I was driving while listening and needed to pay more attention.


What did you like best about this story?

I really enjoyed the different lens that Ms. Hill looks through to see the Witch Trials. Instead of looking at the more salacious details or the religious aspect, Ms Hill looks at the Witch Trials through the political and sociological values and events at the time. Ms. Hill is an historian, and her attention to detail comes through. I was fascinated throughout.


Which scene was your favorite?

I particularly enjoyed the wry descriptions of the girl's behavior during the trials.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Don't blame the Devil, Blame the Putnams


Any additional comments?

The narrator was wonderful, articulating clearly and at a good pace.

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- Jolene Correll

Interesting listen

Listened to this after watching The Witch. Recommended if you're interested in Salem witch trials.
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- Denis O'Brien Shannon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-09-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio