10 books like The Winthrop Woman

By Anya Seton,

Here are 10 books that The Winthrop Woman fans have personally recommended if you like The Winthrop Woman. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England

Bryan Le Beau Author Of The Story of the Salem Witch Trials

From my list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials.

Why am I passionate about this?

A native of Massachusetts and married to a descendent of two of the accused, the Salem witch trials have long fascinated me. Armed with a Ph.D. in American studies from New York University – focused on American history, literature, and religion – a significant portion of my academic career has been devoted to research, publications, classes, and public lectures on the Salem witch trials, reflected in the third edition of my book, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials. The book is only one of several books and many articles I have published on various aspects of American cultural history, many of which relate in some way to what happened in Salem in 1692.  

Bryan's book list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials

Bryan Le Beau Why did Bryan love this book?

John Putnam Demos remains the “dean” of historians of the Salem witch trials. 

Entertaining Satan remains his most impactful contribution to the study of the events of 1692 by providing their cultural context in early New England, upon which historians have built over the years expanding upon Demos’ findings.

Perhaps his greatest contribution is his interdisciplinary approach invoking the research tools of psychology and sociology, as well as cultural history. His concluding chapter, “Communities: Witchcraft over Time,” provides broadly, excellent insights drawn from his extensive research.  

By John Putnam Demos,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Entertaining Satan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the first edition of the Bancroft Prize-winning Entertaining Satan, John Putnam Demos presented an entirely new perspective on American witchcraft. By investigating the surviving historical documents of over a hundred actual witchcraft cases, he vividly recreated the world of New England during the witchcraft trials and brought to light fascinating information on the role of witchcraft in early American culture. Now Demos has revisited his original work
and updated it to illustrate why these early Americans' strange views on witchcraft still matter to us today. He provides a new preface that puts forth a broader overview of witchcraft and…


Book cover of Portia: The World of Abigail Adams

Mary Beth Norton Author Of Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800

From my list on women in early America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nearly 200 years passed between the first English settlements and the American Revolution. Yet Americans today have a static view of women’s lives during that long period. I have now published four books on the subject of early American women, and I have barely scratched the surface. My works—Liberty’s Daughters was the first I wrote, though the last chronologically—are the results of many years of investigating the earliest settlers in New England and the Chesapeake, accused witches, and politically active women on both sides of the Atlantic. And I intend to keep researching and to write more on this fascinating topic!

Mary's book list on women in early America

Mary Beth Norton Why did Mary love this book?

Gelles has written several books and articles about Abigail (and John) Adams, but this is my favorite. Not a classic cradle-to-grave biography, It examines a series of episodes in Abigail’s life and her relationships with her husband, two sisters, and her children, especially her daughter Abigail junior (Nabby) and her son John Quincy. The series of well-crafted vignettes convey great insight into this important “founding mother,” the wife of the second president, mother of the sixth, and a lively intellect in her own right.

By Edith B. Gelles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Portia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

" . . . best-of-all-biographies of Abigail Adams . . . " -American Historical Review

"Portia, a new study of Abigail Adams-modern feminism's favorite Founding Mother-is a refreshing change of pace." -San Francisco Chronicle

" . . . very well done, highly perceptive, and full of fresh ideas." -Wilson Library Bulletin

" . . . Adams's strength, courage, and wit (as well as her bouts of depression and gender conservatism) emerge more fully than they have in any previous work. . . . a well-rounded portrait of a remarkable figure." -Choice

"In this important and fascinating biography, Edith Gelles not…


Book cover of A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience

Bryan Le Beau Author Of The Story of the Salem Witch Trials

From my list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials.

Why am I passionate about this?

A native of Massachusetts and married to a descendent of two of the accused, the Salem witch trials have long fascinated me. Armed with a Ph.D. in American studies from New York University – focused on American history, literature, and religion – a significant portion of my academic career has been devoted to research, publications, classes, and public lectures on the Salem witch trials, reflected in the third edition of my book, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials. The book is only one of several books and many articles I have published on various aspects of American cultural history, many of which relate in some way to what happened in Salem in 1692.  

Bryan's book list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials

Bryan Le Beau Why did Bryan love this book?

In his latest book, Baker explores the various explanations for the Salem witch trials. He concludes that there was no single factor, but rather the result of a convergence of conditions, political, social, cultural, and economic. 

He focuses on key players in the outbreak, including the accused, the accusers, the judges, and government officials who failed to deal with the hysteria in a timely manner, thereby sparing those who lost their lives in the process.

In his final chapter, he discusses the response of Salem town, “witch city,” to the events of 1692 and its attempt to mine the tourist opportunities while recognizing the personal tolls taken by the accused. 

By Emerson W. Baker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Storm of Witchcraft as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers-mainly young women-suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible
for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history.

Historians…


Book cover of Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia

Mary Beth Norton Author Of Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800

From my list on women in early America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nearly 200 years passed between the first English settlements and the American Revolution. Yet Americans today have a static view of women’s lives during that long period. I have now published four books on the subject of early American women, and I have barely scratched the surface. My works—Liberty’s Daughters was the first I wrote, though the last chronologically—are the results of many years of investigating the earliest settlers in New England and the Chesapeake, accused witches, and politically active women on both sides of the Atlantic. And I intend to keep researching and to write more on this fascinating topic!

Mary's book list on women in early America

Mary Beth Norton Why did Mary love this book?

A well-written study of Philadelphia’s single women in the eighteenth century, this book offers an unusual view of women’s lives by focusing on the unmarried female residents of an urban middle-colony environment. (Most works on colonial women have studied married women in rural New England.) Each chapter highlights an individual woman and the diverse experiences of others like her, including poor women, dependents in siblings’ households, female shopkeepers and other tradeswomen, and women who form organizations with other women. Remarkably comprehensive, it presents a counterpoint to more familiar narratives.

By Karin Wulf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not All Wives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marital status was a fundamental legal and cultural feature of women's identity in the eighteenth century. Free women who were not married could own property and make wills, contracts, and court appearances, rights that the law of coverture prevented their married sisters from enjoying. Karin Wulf explores the significance of marital status in this account of unmarried women in Philadelphia, the largest city in the British colonies.
In a major act of historical reconstruction, Wulf draws upon sources ranging from tax lists, censuses, poor relief records, and wills to almanacs, newspapers, correspondence, and poetry in order to recreate the daily…


Book cover of Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia

Mary Beth Norton Author Of Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800

From my list on women in early America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nearly 200 years passed between the first English settlements and the American Revolution. Yet Americans today have a static view of women’s lives during that long period. I have now published four books on the subject of early American women, and I have barely scratched the surface. My works—Liberty’s Daughters was the first I wrote, though the last chronologically—are the results of many years of investigating the earliest settlers in New England and the Chesapeake, accused witches, and politically active women on both sides of the Atlantic. And I intend to keep researching and to write more on this fascinating topic!

Mary's book list on women in early America

Mary Beth Norton Why did Mary love this book?

A path-breaking study of Black and White women in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Virginia, this book shows what can be learned about the origins of slavery in the Chesapeake region from a focus on women--free, enslaved, and indentured alike. Life on early Chesapeake tobacco plantations was very different from the image of “classic,” semi-mythic nineteenth-century cotton plantations familiar to Americans today. Living conditions were crude, especially in the early settlements, and the demands of tobacco cultivation differed greatly from cotton production. Brown shows how all the women in early Virginia were critical to the colony’s  development.

By Kathleen M. Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kathleen Brown examines the origins of racism and slavery in British North America from the perspective of gender. Both a basic social relationship and a model for other social hierarchies, gender helped determine the construction of racial categories and the institution of slavery in Virginia. But the rise of racial slavery also transformed gender relations, including ideals of masculinity. In response to the presence of Indians, the shortage of labor, and the insecurity of social rank, Virginia's colonial government tried to reinforce its authority by regulating the labor and sexuality of English servants and by making legal distinctions between English…


Book cover of Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699

Karen Vorbeck Williams Author Of My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton

From my list on 17th century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in, while restoring, an old farmhouse built in the late 17th century or very early in the 18th, it was impossible for me not to want to know the history of the house and the people who lived there. Combine that with the stories my grandmother told me about our ancestor, the suspected witch Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton, and I felt destined to know her story. That led to many years of research and writing. At the moment I am writing another 17th century New England historical fiction. I love this period of history and so few write about it. 

Karen's book list on 17th century America

Karen Vorbeck Williams Why did Karen love this book?

Well, the title was amusing. The rest of the book was fascinating, alarming, and totally surprising for an author who was researching the lives of Puritans in early New England. The public records, Puritan laws, along with Thompson’s analysis opened up a world of new information and removed every myth I’d heard about these staunchly religious people.

By Roger Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sex in Middlesex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thompson analyzes the court records of 17th century Middlesex County, searching for such sexually related crimes as fornication, breach of promise, sexual deviancy, and adultery. His findings help shatter the traditional historical caricature of New England Puritans as patriarchal, dour wife-beaters and child-abusers, a myth eloquently created by Perry Miller and most recently reinforced by Lawrence Stone. In the court records Thompson discovers Puritans who exhibited 'tolerance, mutual regard, affection, and prudent common sense' within the context of a popular Puritan piety. A well-written social history that places Puritanism in a human rather than an intellectual framework, Sex in Middlesex…


Book cover of Mary Dyer: Biography of a Rebel Quaker

Karen Vorbeck Williams Author Of My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton

From my list on 17th century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in, while restoring, an old farmhouse built in the late 17th century or very early in the 18th, it was impossible for me not to want to know the history of the house and the people who lived there. Combine that with the stories my grandmother told me about our ancestor, the suspected witch Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton, and I felt destined to know her story. That led to many years of research and writing. At the moment I am writing another 17th century New England historical fiction. I love this period of history and so few write about it. 

Karen's book list on 17th century America

Karen Vorbeck Williams Why did Karen love this book?

Mary Dyer is a forgotten American hero, who suffered unbelievably for her faith. In early Boston Quakers, Baptists, Jews, Catholics—everyone but the Puritans—were banished. She became a Quaker missionary and led what became a hopeless cause: freedom of worship. Her whole story is painful, shocking, and cannot be summed up here without spoilers. The Puritan men who settled the Bay Colony hated and feared women who spoke up. They banished or destroyed them.

By Ruth Talbot Plimpton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mary Dyer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of Mary Dyer whose indomitable efforts to seek and find “freedom to worship” lead eventually to her death. Her quest began when she and her husband sailed from old to new England in 1635. Landing in Boston, they were soon disillusioned by the intolerant practices and beliefs of the Puritans, who considered that all truth could be found in the Old Testament—and only there. Variations, from Puritan interpretations of the Ten Commandments, were punished by cruel torture and/or death. Banished from Boston for protesting such rigidity in belief and in practice, Mary was among the group…


Book cover of The English Housewife

Karen Vorbeck Williams Author Of My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton

From my list on 17th century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in, while restoring, an old farmhouse built in the late 17th century or very early in the 18th, it was impossible for me not to want to know the history of the house and the people who lived there. Combine that with the stories my grandmother told me about our ancestor, the suspected witch Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton, and I felt destined to know her story. That led to many years of research and writing. At the moment I am writing another 17th century New England historical fiction. I love this period of history and so few write about it. 

Karen's book list on 17th century America

Karen Vorbeck Williams Why did Karen love this book?

The book’s subtitle: "Containing the inward and outward virtues which ought to be in a complete woman; as her skill in physic, cookery, banqueting-stuff, distillation, perfumes, wool, hemp, flax, dairies, brewing, baking, and all the other things belonging to a household.” And I must add: do all this while bearing children—sons preferably. The chapters offer up recipes, remedies, instructions on gardening, etc, along with spiritual guidance. Examples: To make a woman apt to conceive, let her drink mugwort steeped in wine. If a woman has a strong and hard labour, take four spoonfuls of another woman’s milk and give it to her to drink. I used the book for research and found it so entertaining and mystifying that I couldn’t put it down while thanking God I was born in the 20th century. 

By Gervase Markham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The English Housewife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Markham reveals the "pretty and curious secrets" of preparing everything from simple foods to such elaborate meals as a "humble feast" - an undertaking which entails preparing "no less than two and thirty dishes, which is as much as can stand on one table." He instructs the housewife on brewing beer and caring for wine, growing flax and hemp for thread, and spinning and dyeing. As a housewife was also responsible for the health and "soundness of body" of her family, he includes advice on the prevention of everything from the plague to baldness and bad breath. No other source…


Book cover of God, War, and Providence: The Epic Struggle of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians Against the Puritans of New England

Neill McKee Author Of Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower

From my list on to understand the true founding of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my childhood in Canada, I was fascinated by the “Wild West” and the fact that my maternal grandmother, who lived with us, was born in Wisconsin in 1876, when Jesse James was still robbing trains. I became an international multimedia producer, and I always took an entertainment-based approach to my work, grounded in research. After I retired, I began to search for my roots, uncovering interesting stories of my ancestors. Besides accessing websites and books, I traveled to where they lived to gain insights, meet historians, and distant cousins. I also engaged expert genealogists to prove my lineage back to the Mayflower and Puritan settlers of New England. That allowed me to join the Mayflower Society.

Neill's book list on to understand the true founding of America

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

Reverend Roger Williams learned the local Algonquin language and wrote a book about it to teach Puritan settlers to respect the natives and their culture. The authorities threatened to ship him back to England, but he escaped south to the land of the Narragansetts, where he set up the colony that became Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. There he allowed religious freedom—even the despised Quakers and Catholics. He attempted a complete separation of church and state and preached on respecting native land rights. He sided with the Narragansetts when King Philip’s War broke out in 1675, a long and bloody battle throughout New England, in which two of my ancestors were killed by Indians, while two others enriched themselves. Roger William’s dream was of an America that could have been.

By James A. Warren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God, War, and Providence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tragic and fascinating history of the first epic struggle between white settlers and Native Americans in the early seventeenth century: "a riveting historical validation of emancipatory impulses frustrated in their own time" (Booklist, starred review) as determined Narragansett Indians refused to back down and accept English authority.

A devout Puritan minister in seventeenth-century New England, Roger Williams was also a social critic, diplomat, theologian, and politician who fervently believed in tolerance. Yet his orthodox brethren were convinced tolerance fostered anarchy and courted God's wrath. Banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, Williams purchased land from the Narragansett Indians and…


Book cover of Down Salem Way

Diana Rubino Author Of For The Love Of Hawthorne

From my list on the 1692 “witch” hunts in Salem Village.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical and biographical novels, and have had a fascination with the Salem witch trials since childhood. With my first visit to Salem, I felt a strong connection to my surroundings and its history. When I walked through the House of the Seven Gables for the first time, I felt I’d been there before. Three past-life regressions brought me back to 17th century Salem. In my biographical novel For The Love Of Hawthorne, I delved deeply into the soul of my favorite author, his devoted wife, and the shame his family suffered at the hand of his ancestor Judge Hathorne. The story came from my heart, as I lived their story along with them. 

Diana's book list on the 1692 “witch” hunts in Salem Village

Diana Rubino Why did Diana love this book?

Down Salem Way is a journey back to the horrific Salem witch hysteria era. This book fascinated me because I will read anything connected to the Salem witch trials and the events that led to 19 innocent victims’ executions in 1692. Down Salem Way tells us the story in vivid detail through the eyes of John Wentworth and his beloved wife Elizabeth. They knew many of the condemned, and witnessed their horrific trials and executions. Rev. Nicholas Noyes and Judges Hathorne and Corwin were responsible for these atrocities, after witnessing the ‘afflicted’ (the young girls whose hysterical behavior led to the accusations). This book will take you back to 17th-century Salem and Boston, where the victims were held in another dungeon. 

The story moved me emotionally because I visit Salem all the time, and have always taken a keen interest in the witch trials. This book, although a novel, made…

By Meredith Allard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down Salem Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion

How would you deal with the madness of the Salem witch hunts?

In 1690, James Wentworth arrives in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father, John, hoping to continue the success of John’s mercantile business. While in Salem, James falls in love with Elizabeth Jones, a farmer’s daughter. Though they are virtually strangers when they marry, the love between James and Elizabeth grows quickly into a passion that will transcend time.

But something evil lurks down Salem way. Soon many in Salem, town and village, are accused of practicing witchcraft and sending their…


4 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Salem witch trials, the Puritans, and Quebec?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Salem witch trials, the Puritans, and Quebec.

The Salem Witch Trials Explore 27 books about the Salem witch trials
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