The Virtuous and Violent Women of Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts shows that more dramatic violence by women—including infanticide, the scalping of captors during the Indian Wars, and even witchcraft accusations—was not necessarily intended to challenge the structures of authority but often sprung from women’s desire to protect property, safety, and standing for themselves and their families. The situations in which women chose to flout powerful social conventions and resort to overt violence expose the underlying, often unspoken, priorities and gendered expectations that shaped this society.
"Romeo’s centering of women’s violence has the potential to change how readers understand colonial New England. Her clear style will appeal both to university instructors and general readers beyond academia."—Erika Gasser, author of Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England