When you need to get the real story about some of history's most fascinating women, call Stacy Schiff. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's work includes Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) and Cleopatra: A Life. In her highly anticipated new book, The Witches: Salem, 1692, Schiff focuses on an infamous and dark period of American history, especially as it relates to women: the Salem witch trials.
Some years before the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials (in the late 17th Century) one hapless woman, working as a midwife and healer, was put to death for witchcraft. Hers was the second execution of its type in the New World and the first in the Massachusetts Colony.
England's most famous witch trial took place in Lancashire in 1612. Ten of the so-called Pendle Witches were hanged at Lancaster Castle after being deemed guilty of witchcraft. Their ghosts reputedly haunt the village of Newchurch which is where one of the witches is said to be buried.