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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:245
  • eBook ISBN:9781626757370

Bathsheba Spooner

A Novel

by Deborah Navas

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A true story of love and betrayal, crime and punishment, in Revolutionary Massachusetts.
In March 1778, Joshua Spooner, a wealthy gentleman farmer in Brookfield, Massachusetts, was beaten to death and his body stuffed down his own well. Four people were prosecuted for the crime: two British soldiers, a young Continental soldier named Ezra Ross, and Spooner's wife, Bathsheba, who was charged with instigating the murder. She was thirty-two years old and five months pregnant with Ezra Ross’s son. Beautiful, intelligent, high-spirited, and witty, Bathsheba Spooner was the mother of three young children and in her own words felt "an utter aversion" for her husband, who was known to be an abusive drunk. As daughter of the state's most feared and despised Loyalist, she bore the brunt of the political, cultural, and gender prejudices of her vehemently patriotic state. Supported by her prison confessor, she petitioned for a stay of execution to deliver her baby, but her fate rested upon the will of the Massachusetts Council, elected by a patriotic legislature. Newspapers described the Spooner case as "the most extraordinary crime ever perpetrated in New England," and the story continues to attract the attention of readers and students of history to this day.
About the author
I've made my living as a magazine editor and business technologies writer, but I write literary fiction, nonfiction, and history whenever time permits. I'm indebted to the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH, for making much of that time possible. Over the years I've published 20 short stories and two books: a short story collection, Things We Lost, Gave Away, Bought High, and Sold Low (SMU Press), and Murdered by His Wife, (University of Massachusetts Press), an historical account of the Joshua Spooner murder case. I've also published “New Light on the Bathsheba Spooner Execution,” Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, number 108.