A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem : The Rise of Witch City
by Maggi Smith-Dalton
The History Press (Charleston, S.C.)
ISBN : 9781609495510 Page Extent : 160 pp. Trim Size : 6 x 9 Over 50 images Published : August 2012 $19.99
Editors: Please note there is no "e" in "Maggi"
Upcoming local events listed at end of press release
Maggi Smith-Dalton is available for interviews and illustrated talks/signings.
History Press Publicity representative
Katie Parry P: 843.577.5971 ext. 113 F: 843.577.6712
Alternatively, those local to Boston may contact the author directly:
mobile: 978 219 9483
Just Published: "A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City" by Maggi Smith-Dalton
SALEM, Mass.–The story told by Maggi Smith-Dalton in "A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City," just published by The History Press, is not what you might expect in book about 19th-century Salem, Massachusetts.
Spiritualism was an important element in 19th-century culture, in America and indeed worldwide. Salem provided fertile ground for the growth of this and other religions, yet, because of its link to witchcraft in the infamous trials of 1692 -- a serious and persistent black mark on the town's reputation -- struggled with anything which might give more fuel to the fire of being linked to occult practices.
Smith-Dalton's book examines this struggle and the elements that went into the gradual evolution of Salem towards what we would recognize as the Salem of today. The popularity of Spiritualism and renewed interest in the occult blossomed out of an attempt to find an intellectual and emotional balance between science and religion.
It also tells a larger story about the way alternative religions such as Spiritualism grew in 19th century America, using Salem, a town that prided itself on its arts, culture, professional class, and love of science, as the connecting thread. In her second book for The History Press, historian Maggi Smith-Dalton delves into Salem’s exotic history, unraveling the beginnings of Spiritualism and the rise of The Witch City.
About the author:
Maggi Smith-Dalton began her singing career in cabarets and nightclubs and has maintained a parallel career as a historian most of her life. With her husband, Jim, she tours nationwide as a concert artist. They are specialists in "19th- & Early 20th-Century Music, History, and Culture From Parlor and Stage" on period & period-appropriate instruments, performed in historically-
Maggi is also a prizewinning short story writer and has a long history of writing feature articles and columns for magazines and newspapers. Most recently, she wrote a weekly history column for the Boston Globe (boston.com)
Maggi holds a master's degree in American Studies, and her current scholarly work focuses on historic civic rituals that incorporate music as a primary element, a subject on which she has presented domestically and abroad.
Maggi is president of the Institute for Music, History and Cultural Traditions, which runs two public programs: the American History and Music Project and the Salem History Society. In 2010, she was elected to the council of the New England American Studies Association.
"A History of Spiritualism"
She loves to garden and usually can be found muttering to herself as she happily rakes, plants, feeds and waters various living things, including herself. The squirrels, it is rumored, are used to her soliloquies by now, although one wonders what the neighbors think.
Upcoming events (All are open to the Public):
When: 9/15/12 1 p.m.
Author signing at The Boston Book Festival
When: 10/27/12 Noon to 2 p.m.
Author Illustrated Talk/Signing
When: 10/28/12 2 p.m.
More Events TBA