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December 11 , 2007

SILENCING THE WOMEN: The Witch Trials of Mary Bliss Parsons


Silencing the Women: The Witch Trials of Mary Bliss Parsons is a biographical-historical exploration of the life and times of a Puritan woman who found herself trapped within early New England witchcraft accusations. In the wilderness settlements at Springfield and Northampton, along the Connecticut River, petty jealousies combined with power struggles between church, state, and the genders, sparking fears of witchcraft. In the cold and dark of a seventeenth century Boston Jail, Mary Bliss Parsons prepared herself for trial by raising her voice to the only One who listens to women. Her simple offering is the story of self vindication and the journey of her indomitable spirit. Her memories take the reader to a world of real places and real people enmeshed in a struggle for survival. This story is true, being based as accurately as possible upon a record of early historical documents.

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The complex interaction of theology, government, economics, and social and sexual politics in the wilderness created a dangerous web that ensnared women and men alike. How the heroine prevailed is a story of love, survival, and strength of human spirit. The author of the story is a tenth generation granddaughter of Ms. Parsons who discovered that when moved, a person can hear the voice of one's ancestors beating in the pulse of the blood within them. The author proposes that this story came through me, not from me.

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