Kamensky - First printed in March 1692 Mathers pocket-sized...

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First printed in March 1692, Mather’s pocket-sized volume on female conduct must have found an eager audience. No daughter of Zion could have failed to notice that here were clamors aplenty that spring – more hubbub, perhaps, than had before been heard in New England. From the north and west, where English settlers warred against the French and their Algonquian allies, came doleful tales of battle and Indian captivity. From across the Atlantic, where representatives of colony and Crown argued over the fate of Massachusetts’s founding charter, came disturbing political news. But while echoes of these distant turmoil’s unsettled many in Boston, the loudest din was homegrown, a racket caused not (as Mather claimed) by clamorous whores or wordy fools, but by a veritable plague of suspected witches and demoniacs. However dire, the verbal disorders emanating from Salem that spring would have been familiar to New Englanders. The belief that the “unruly” tongue was formed in the very “image of the divell” was both older and
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course HIST 156 taught by Professor Bradbury during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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Kamensky - First printed in March 1692 Mathers pocket-sized...

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