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Witchcraft Legacy begins with a fearful discovery by the author and his brother when, as children, they were exploring the big attic in their childhood home. They found a steamer trunk filled with old family books and papers, and unearthed an ancient book once owned by the chief judge of the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, William Stoughton. In crabbed, handwritten flyleaf notes, Stoughton describes someone being mercilessly haunted and perhaps tortured by "Evil Spirits". To the boys, the evil spirits seemed to cast a family curse, long buried in the trunk. Witchcraft Legacy collects family stories of love, death, and life's surprising turns as the generations who possessed Stoughton's book live out the curse of the evil spirits. Starting in the 1660s, the stories span nearly four centuries as the ancient tome, with its eerie flyleaf notes, passes from hand to hand, and is eventually found by the author and his brother.
"Witchcraft Legacy is a wonderful book, the finest memoir I've read in recent years. Engaging and moving, it casts a spell, which is about the finest thing any work of writing can do."
-Jim Rasenberger, author of Revolver, The Brilliant Disaster, America 1908, and High Steel
"Witchcraft Legacy was a complete pleasure to read. I was entranced from start to finish."
-Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat
"This book is full of magic-of life well lived and loved. It is a captivating memoir by an excellent writer."
-Lela P. Love, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, co-editor of Stories Mediators Tell
Richard Warren Brewster is a mediator and lawyer in New York City. He received his B.A. in the Classics from Princeton and his law degree from Harvard Law School.