The Heretic's Daughter
In the novel, The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent we witness great historical significance in the years surrounding the Salem witch trials. For one, the author's ancestor was Martha Carrier, a key character in the novel and also known as the “Queen of Hell”, who was among the first of women to be accused of witchcraft. In this specific novel we relive the horrors that nine year old Sarah Carrier must face along with her family. The hysteria during the year of 1692 could have not been prevented, the superstition that would rise was inevitable, and the amount of damaged caused could have never been guessed.
Though the witch trials were held in the Salem, Massachusetts; Sarah and her family lived among the outskirts of Salem Village in a town called Andover. The Carrier family decided to move from Billerica to Andover, nine miles away. The family unaware had brought smallpox with them, a very infectious disease, to the town of Andover (page 3&4). The plague would also be used against the Carrier family to accuse them of doing evil deeds. Even though this is not true, and witches never existed, people were accused without any valid proof, just foolish speculations that would condemn innocent beings (page 326).
To further backup history and fully understand the concept of how things came to be, we must revisit the English civil war. Thomas Carrier, Sarah’s father and Martha Carrier’s husband, held a mysterious past that made everyone fear him. His past has haunted him for years but it would be this exact fear that would protect his family for the time being. Thomas Carrier had been protector of King Charles I but during the war he realizes the monarch cannot govern the people. Thomas is the one to behead the King, and this was his mysterious secret that was kept hidden from Sarah. However, this is all revealed in a red book that Sarah’s mother writes for her to read when she reaches a proper age and though she has...
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