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Reviews

  • A bona fide historical classic ... Historical writing of the very highest class, impeccably researched and written with supreme imagination and wisdom.

    Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
  • Unforgettable ... Whether you read The Ruin of All Witches for a startling insight into another age, or see its portrait of mob hysteria and witch-hunts as darkly analogous to our own uneasy times, this is one of those rare history books that stays with you and haunts you long after you have turned the last page. Superb.

    Christopher Hart, Sunday Times
  • Breathtaking ... a great story, exquisitely told. I had to reread certain sentences aloud, just to savour their insight and cadence ... This book is history at its illuminative best.

    Gerard DeGroot, The Times
  • The narrative is as compelling as a campfire story ... This is deeply atmospheric writing, carefully sourced ... As with the best history, the lessons of Springfield's past may serve to inform the citizens of a still-divided and conflicted nation.

    Erica Wagner, Financial Times
  • Evocative right from the start, the reader is drawn in and excited in both body and mind ... It's a feast ... a valuable gift to every reader of history.

    Marion Gibson, BBC History Magazine
  • A portrait of a community during one of the first Puritan witch panics in the New World - and a timeless study of how paranoia, superstition and social unrest fuel fantasies ... Mr Gaskill's immersive approach brings the fate of his subjects movingly to life.

    The Economist
  • Simply one of the best history books I have ever read ... His deeply imaginative, empathetic and yet empirical exploration of a past moment of crisis is history at its finest.

    Suzannah Lipscomb, BBC History
  • A rich and beautifully written microhistory ... a work of remarkable historical reconstruction.

    Edward Vallance, Literary Review
  • Malcolm Gaskill shows us with filmic vividness the daily life of the riven, marginal community of Springfield, where settlers from a far country dwell on the edge of the unknown. The clarity of his thought and his writing, his insight, and the immediacy of the telling, combine to make this the best and most enjoyable kind of history writing. Malcolm Gaskill goes to meet the past on its own terms and in its own place, and the result is thought-provoking and absorbing.

    Hilary Mantel
  • An impressively researched account, bringing to life the fears and preoccupations of obscure and humble people, and setting them in the context of their time and place.

    Richard Francis, The Spectator

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