On today's show it's Writers on a New England Stage with Stacy Schiff, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of biographies of Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov, Benjamin Franklin, and Cleopatra, is known for discovering the real overlaid by popular mythologies. Her most recent book takes on the enduring fictions of one of the most confounding and hysterical events in American history: the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
The Salem witch-hunt has been revised, re-interpreted, and reduced to a cautionary tale about religious extremism and paranoia. Stacy Schiff’s thoroughly researched book, The Witches: Salem 1692 presents a complex picture of the panic that spread like wildfire for nine months in Massachusetts Bay Colony.
NHPR's Broadcast Sponsor for Writer's on a New England Stage: Stacy Schiff is Heinemann Publishing.