Book review: The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

The Winthrop WomanThe Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of Elizabeth Fones with a historical background of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Elizabeth was a nice of John Winthrop and she marries Harry Winthrop, her first cousin.

When the Winthrop family decides to move the New World, they become founding members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston.

The population of this colony was governed by the Puritanism and John Winthrop is elected as the Governor of this colony.

According to Wiki , “the word puritan is often used to describe someone who adheres to strict moral or religious principles.” In this context, John Winthrop and the other main leaders of emigration to New England in 1629 were non-separating Puritans. In other words, they were “puritans who were not satisfied with the Reformation of the Church of England, but who remained within the Church of England advocating further reforms.”

Engraving showing Winthrop’s arrival at Salem.

As soon as Elizabeth lands in Massachusetts, she learns that Henry had drowned in a boating accident – they travelled in different ships to America.

Elizabeth will marry twice until the end of the book. During her second marriage, she and her Indian servant Telaka are accused of being possessed by the devil. As consequence, Elizabeth’s family is banished from the colony and moved to Greenwich, which was governed by the Dutch law.

However, Elizabeth’s misfortunes doesn’t end there, on the contrary: by falling in love with her third husband, she is accused of adultery since “divorce” at that time was inadmissible within this Puritan society.

Some hints about the Pequot War is given during the narrative.

Since Anya Seton is one of the best historical fiction authors in my humble opinion. this book may be considered as another masterpiece written by this author.

Another unforgettable classic masterpiece about this subject is the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.


4* Katherine
4* Green Darkness
5* Dragonwyck
5* Avalon
4* The Winthrop Woman
TR Devil Water


4 thoughts on “Book review: The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

  1. I’ve read a couple of her books and enjoyed them even though I don’t care much for historical fiction. I’ll have to keep this in mind for later in the year when one of the Challenges in which I participate has “historical month.”

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