The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World
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Best Books Set in the 1920s — from Stories That Shimmer with Champagne and Social Change, to Rip-roaring Reads Covering Crime, Colonialism and Beyond.
He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. It was amazing to handle English records that William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, had brought to America in 1630, and which had travelled only a mile in nearly four centuries. That thread of continuity fired my imagination. And when I wasn’t sitting in the archives, I was walking and surveying. Historians should go to the places they write about, and downtown Springfield helps one to visualise a lost world because so much of the modern street plan corresponds to the original layout of home lots and lanes branching off Main Street. Today, Springfield is a big city – but its beginnings were humble and precarious.You bring 17 th Century New England to life in the book, but in your introduction, you are careful to distinguish the book as a historical reconstruction, not a novel. How do you construct a narrative and build a world while being careful not to embellish the facts? The historical detail, the retelling of their daily lives, the events that ran up to this tragic event was quite simply brilliant. And tragically heartbreaking.
David Gelber: Chancellors & Chancers - Austria Behind the Mask: Politics of a Nation since 1945 by Paul Lendvai Malcolm Gaskill on witchcraft, gender-politics and being shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2022 The acclaimed actor Kathryn Hunter plays all three witches in the forthcoming Hollywood adaptation of The Tragedy of Macbeth. The film is directed by Joel Coen and starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as the central couple. Hunter tells Andrew Marr that she studied the witch hunts of the 17th century and was inspired by the ‘outcast women’ who survived and suffered. Her performance is rooted in something real, but also hints at something created in the mind of Macbeth.Named a best book of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, The Guardian, and many more A riveting micro-history, brilliantly set within the broader social and cultural history of witchcraft. Drawing on previously neglected source material, this book is elegantly written and full of intelligent analysis.