tv Stacy Schiff The Witches CSPAN October 28, 2017 4:00pm-4:46pm EDT
washington, dc. [inaudible discussion] hello, everybody. wow, what a treat we have. i am so honored to introduce our next author. she's a elegant and exciting writer. she is the kind of person that other writers just adore. stacy schiff, and boy does she know how to pick a good topic. unbelievable. even jon stewart whereas interested in cleopatra. she is -- she brought to life
cleopatra in a way that nobody else had and a lot of people knew cleopatra for a long time. of course, she has won so many prizes, fatherly ridiculous. when she was a child she won the pulitzer prize for writing viera about the wife of vladimir nopokoh and a runnerup nor pull later in 1995. and when you see how young she is, it's superannoying most of our writerred. ron cher said even if force forced to at gunpoint, stacy ship would be incapable of writing a dull page or sentence. and david mccullough, always writes best sellers, love what
he said about her. history in the hands of stacy schiff is in invariably full of life, light, shadow, surprise, clarity of insight, and so it is again and then some in her latest work "the witch is." few writers combine as she does superb scholarship. it's a superb book. i'll turn it oats, setting the stage in the hands of stacy schiff, she brings you back to 17th century massachusetts. it's an exceptionally cold winter, and the mystery begins when a minister's daughter starts to scream.
stacy. [applause] >> thank you, mary. if you're here this hour you are either a die hard or a passionate lover of history, or both 0, just want someone else to walk your dog. we'd like to think that history is eternal and immobile like mt. rushmore, but it turns out to be an oddly malleable thing. it has moods and fashions and changes of heart. it's studded with misconceptions and outright fictions. the pilgrims never heard anybody talk about plymouth rock and george washington didn't have any particular grudge against cherry trees. some on the lush is fictions about our commemoration of the past, which means we therefore
at the best ever library joke, man walks his local library and -- can't tell this with a straight face -- he asks, can you tell me why so many major civil war battles were fought on national parkland? [laughter] >> none of which explains what we have done with this one immutable truth. during the summer of 1692, upon much deliberation, the massachusetts bay colony executed 19 people for witchcraft. those independent men and women, 14 women and five men, were convict in the salem massachusetts courtroom. they hanged several miles away on a spot -- and this will tell you about how the epidemic was viewed in its immediate aftermath in a spot we can barely locate today. sometimes it seems as if the trap of an event can be measured by how long it takes to us commemorate it, and by how
thoroughly we mangle it in the process. because if you go back to salem today, to get a taste of this startling chapter in our history, you discover that the town has embraced its past with what you might call an uncommon fervor. in 1692 nearly 180 people were accused of witchcraft but none of them was a pirate. one of them was harvard educated minister and another was the richest merchant in salem but that's something else. for several hundred tread years, salem did everything it could in fact to bury the chapter of its rates, as late as 1952 when arthur miller visited to research the crucible, the subject of witchcraft was taboo. you daytona get anyone to say anything bit complained miller. stigma lifted only when the salem filming of the abc sitcom bewitched. i see some of you remember that show. the conceit of the show was that
a modern house wife had super natural powers and with the twitch of her nose she could open the garage door and make the vacuum cleaner work, which was irritating to her husband. it made sense in 1970 to shoot sitcom episodes in salem and that allowed the town to embrace its past. in 1992, it unveiled this gleaming memorial to elizabeth montgomery, the television show's star. she had effectively laundered the history. so over the next years, salem vigorously rebrandded itself. this is the town paper, this is the football team. and this is the police cruiser. generally became -- turned itself into which city. every possible slogan -- you get to see every one of these in salem. this i my favorite, t-shirt.
after bewith emthe community of wickens established themselves in salem and it's a very good place to buy crystals or a broomstick or a magic wand. a witch human opened -- human opened in a former chung, a home of a jump was recast as the witch house and halloween belongs to salem and october 31st is a month long celebration. the sure tans in 1692, hat a horror oholidays, renounces christmas and saints day and wound up with a canal gar that has been described at the dullest in western civilization. but you can believe salem today without a hint of its actual history. but you'd better book now if you want a room for next halloween. what did happen in 1692?
toward the end of january, an especially harsh winter two little girls began to bark and yelp and shudder. they fell dumb, seemed to fly across rooms. they lived in what was then at say rem village, hamlet five miles down the road from salem town, and a community today known to its invince relief as dan verse, madd. the girl's father and uncle was the village minister, samual paris. the rerhysed what seemed to obvious diagnosis. four year earlier a family of boston children had suffered identity cad symptommed. they accused a local woman of having cast a spell on them. she hanged in november of 1688. that kiss was well-nobody, probably as much to the village children as to their parents. after weeks of prayer, with no change in the girl's condition and no other viable explanation for it, it seemed clear
witchcraft was at work. the girls soon named three names and three different -- said three different women enchanted them. one of them quickly confessed that she was in fact a witch. she did so in detail with a story about yellow birds and red cats and black hogs. she said she had been recruited by the devil and she had flown in the wing of an eye to boston. she had had several accomplices. three separate reporters took down her testimony, which created this sensation. immediately grown men began to hear unearthly sounds, met with large winged beast in the moonlight. the girls' symptoms spread to a cohort or teenagers, many of them servants. they would my the starring role in 1692. identifying the witches, displaying their bruises and their bites, and their bloody limbs to the courtroom. predicting whom the witches
would attack next. fingers pointed in all directions. endem ming spread to 4 communitiesful call them the salem witch trials but andsover, massachusetts, was the village most affected. one in ten of its residents would be denounced. so many stood accused that witnesses confused their suspects. the youngest was five and the eldest nearly 80. daughters accused mothers. brothers, their sisters. parishioners their ministers. with astonishing frequency, husbands tenned to assure the court that they had long suspected that their wives were witches. let me talk about witchcraft and how it work. what exactly was a witch? to the early americans she existed or -- he existed as plainly as heat or lying, as one authority had it, it was as obvious that a spirit could convey men and women through the air as it was that the wind
could flatten a house. the early american witch, should add, did not look like this. but there is something of owitness sadder of oz about the story and nor did the 17th 17th century witch look like this, is the original wicked witch of the west from stretch 1900 edition of with sadr or oz itch like the flying pigtail and unexpected spats. this is an early halloween witch. first halloween was celebrated without witches and when finely the widths ann on the scene they tend to be colorful and only become dressed in black of the 1939 wizard of oz movie. the witches of 17th century new englander knew her as someone who performed unnatural feats by virtue of her contract with the devil. and from that pact, she drew the power to transform himself into cats, wolves, rabbit.
a kitchen could be a man or woman and had a men e menagerie that did her bidding, turtles or wiesels, cats dogs andedded to toweds. she is fleeting her blood to their toads. a woman with her great black cat, familiar, she ill states the 1621 english case and this woman is acquit of all witchcraft charges. more diabolical familiars and they range from at the standard issue banyard pig to fantastical gargoyle like creatures. a surprising number of massachusetts men in 1692 would report in assaults in their bed by oversized cats, killer cats, glow in the dark cats or neighbors disguised as cats. blam cat's the favorite. black dogs recure to the
historically english witches tended to prefer feline form. this is not a witches' familiar. this is our family cat, moose, looking a little bit demonic, a witch signed her pact with the disin blood and enchanted with ointments and effigies. should be a mudderring mall content or could be inex-click by strong and smart. both kinds of witches would turn up in 1692 as would merchants who were witches, minimummers and homeless five-year-old girls who are witches. while her power was super natural, her crime was religious. and her ultimate target was the soul rather than the body. her connections to the convulsing children? on many massachusetts desks and about to land on the salem ministers desk, it was transes,
paralyzed winging, frothing good nashing and shaking. the symptoms of the salem girls to a t. among the abundant proofs of her existence was the biblical injunction against her. thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, command thursday scripture, i'm sorry to have to share with you the basic english translation of exodus 22:18. any woman using unnatural powers of secret arts is to be budget to death. pretty much covers every woman i know. when massachusetts establishes it legal code the first capital time cass adoll triand the-do was idolatry and witchcraft and blasphemy is next and murder after blasphemy. in the years, new england had indicted about 100 witches. massachusetts, however, hanged only six. so beside the mystery of the salem symptoms, there's really a greater mystery, why in 1692 the
hasty and merciless prosecution? the charges were familiar from earlier case us, casting spells on livestock was could archon one. sale letch witches enchanted fire places and muskets and wagons, sent dishes sailing, bit and clawed and bludgeoned nip who would refuse to sign the devil's book. this is from an early english case. theyed dade not fare well? they're not riding a pig. they seem to have again away. oh, well, they should have been riding a pig below that. some witchcraft is clearly at work here. they've been accused of pig bewitching this show short of it. new england witch does a great deal of flying down chimneys and over apple trees but traditionally the english witch did not fly. continental witches did which would provide a significant clue to what the end in 1692.
those 0 mo won tested will have flown by their own confession, on the devil's shoulderses or on poles or branches or sticks no new england witch would fly on a broom. here possibly some french fliers. 15th century but leave it to a woman to fly gracefully. the accepted logic went like this, witches xi necessary all times and places. how its possible that imagination could deliver the same conceit across cultures and eras? in other words, witchcraft was so preposterous you couldn't make it up. to the impossibility of a share dilution was the most compelling treason believe in witch cavitycraft, not subscribe it to was heresy. in 1692 the witch could be someone who was a foot stamper or troublemaker but could also be someone who simply denied the existence of witchcraft.
served a purpose, made sense of the unfortunate and eerie, the sick child and the disappearing kitchen scissors. what else, shrugged one was in house might have caused the back this blue block on his wife's arm? onemer breath ticking thing about the trial us. came to an end because the scope of the crisis taxed the imagination. could there really be that many witches in massachusetts? and because of what appeared to be an overe overzealous court, carefully, quietly and anonymously, sane man began to speak up. few of them, however, questioned the existence of witchcraft. at issue was simply the difficulty in identifying it. many would believe that innocence had died in 1692 but most also believed that guilty widths had escaped. to my mind writers can be immensely up helpful about what nudges them toward a particular subject. i can't see precisely where my
interest in salem began, but i can report that you don't head off into the long haul of writing a book without some kind of obsession, the kind that wakes you up in the night, makes you read the daily newspaper through the eyes of someone who lived centuries or hundreds of new jersey earlier. so i began to think about salem and began to feel to me eerily topic cal and familiar, oral culture, like internet culture, feeds on rumor know. about conspiracy and political utility, how fear can corrode ore thinking and rages against the powers darkness can convince us we stand in the lying. he was an instructive tale about a different war on terror, about the politics of fear, both of them conducted by enlightened men. because at the center of the even inside 1692 were increased the most illustrious of masts
ministers and his brilliant son. cod's mother had no trouble with the hysteria in massachusetts. he was con veins the colony was under assault. he relished that attack which proved the colony's special status. the epidemic seemed like a badge of honor, further proof that new englanders were the chosen people. american exceptionalism begins here. the civics authorities regularly appeal ted the nears guidance, owned the most extensive collection of printed matter in massachusetts. they had devariedly bears on witchcraft. he wrote more about salem than anyone else. a decade afterward he was still puzzling over the epidemic. he concluded it what's fault of
the native americans. one additional that that may have contributeed to any salem obsession, after writing about ben franklin's time in france, i wrote a life of cleopatra nor there is no shred of documentation whatsoever. so here with salem, blessedly, was an archive, it included diaries and sermons and church record books and best of recall near lay thousand transcripts tf depositions, arrest warrants. this is a page, the best of 17th century penmanship from the sermon become of samuel perris, the minister them accounting of one of many jail peeps who incars ridded a suspect. a prisoner has the obligation of paying force his own charges to at the jailers were meticulous in records 'the trials struck me as urgently relevant.
when you factor in the anxiety and the very familiar conspiracy theories. always obsessed with origins and thanks in large part to hawthorn and arthur miller the trials have asserted themes into our dna. talking about the witches, it seems to me that half ofmer descended from the settler of 1st century new england and the other half standard in the crucible in high school. let me end with the witchcraft confession of a 72-year-old farm woman because for me she was the start of the story and finally of the book. we don't know who initially accused ann foster but she smidted to three very intense back-to-back interrogations. initially she denied any involvement with witchcraft. but soon she began to tell an astonishing tale. six alleged witches had hanged
by this time. now mid-summer. the epidemic begins in january of february and from start to finish lasts ten months. the devil foster admitted had appeared to her as a bird and at his direction she had bewitched several children a hog. the record for repeated examinations. this is not the best of 17th 17th century hand writhing. a neighbor who was a witch led her to a sabbath in may, arrange their trip through the air. foster provided precise details of that gathering to which the witches had flown from all over new england. we can reconstruct meetle from enter testimony but have no image. this is a 17th century engrave offering a witch's sabbath. certain themes are familiar as these men and women also fly by various means to a clearing. you remember that i said that
there had been no flying in massachusetts before 1692. well, suddenly everyone is aloft. in her second interrogation, foster revealed she had flown to the meeting on a pole, one she shared with her neighbor. as they sailed through the air they crashed, took off a second time, though, foster hurt her leg in the fall. not the first woman to plunge to the ground. we know about the crash not only from her official account but bus a local minister heard her confess and questioned her privately afterward in prison hitch was fascinated by the mechanics of witchcraft. did she ride to the meeting on a stick? what decide they do about food. she said she carried bread and cheese in her pocket. she described the sandy ground on which she sat. she provided details of the timing of the flight, in both
directions. she claimed her leg still hurt her from the accident ship was entirely forthcoming, balking only when asked if it was true that she recruited her daughter into the satanic conspiracy. her daughter immediately confessed, incriminating her mother as she did. so foster's 18-year-old granddaughter was arrested after that. she assured the authorizes that boat her mother and her grandmother practiced witchcraft. let me go back to ann foster's account. to toe enter interest the world of the early americans to grasp what could power a witchcraft epidemic you have to buy into what we consider to delusions. this was a novel narrative challenge for me. singh i was writing a book of nonfiction that had at the center an illusory event. in short the challenge was to make a crazy thing seem perfectly rational, and then afterward, to she why it was crazy. foster's crash seemed to me to pound the way.
here was the woman who not only believed that she had a attend ted diabolical sabbath but who envisioned difficulties getting there and could steel the aftereffects the sabbath was at the center of the story. the authorities felt it amounted to a full-blown conspiracy against the state. they thought the witch were plotting to overthrow the church and massachusetts newly seated government. so this was the original prod against america. foster reported there were 25 conspirators, her granddaughter says 70. and the estimates would son rise to 500. its gravity in part explained the ruthless, prosecution. the witchcraft game a political crisis for a colonial that felt vulnerable for any number of reasons having nothing to do with witchcraft. the book opened with foster's flight. sends us into the heart of the matter and signals to the reader
that odd and implausible things were afoot. heyed to begin with how anne foster traveled from her farm to a meeting in salem, 12-miles away. here is the initial stab at the first line of the widths. yes issue write of yellow legal pad. it's embarrassing. this up maltly became the first line of chapter 2 because i later wrote an introduction which my canny publisher retitled chapter one because he explained no one reads introductions. should you care no know how long it takes to write a poock, it seems made these attempts on april 8, 2013 and did not see my children nor next two years. by later that day, the line had a involved to this: i had in hand anne foster's sworn testimony, along with the account of that minister who interviewedder in prison, but i also had to check a number of details. for example, if in fact you flew
just above the treetops southeast from andover to salem what did you see bull grow 1692? could you see as far as the notion how thick were at the trees? for this i plagued the archive years who tookmer seriously, and i needed to verify the inky night. there upon followed an extensive correspondence with my favorite research librarian, which this will give you some idea of his tenacity. one of several multipage i'm evens in which he confirmed that in fact the night of may 15, 1692, was not inky. a bright, moon shown over mas that evening. so, yes, you're hearing correctly issue spent hours checking the factual circumstances under which a fictional event took place kiss sure lay definition of lunacy. but let me point out something else, too. in trying to recreate foster's
flight he liked in detail, i had landed in proverbial wilderness of error. you may have noticed it already but i didn't see it for months. indeed foster claimed she had flown at high speed over the trees to the salem gathering on may 15th when there was a bridget moon in the sky. but nowhere had she said that she'd known -- meant to at -- flown at mid-michigan. this made me sit bold in bed. re-read every account of see celebration not one of the 50 people include the word boyfriend the dark or navigating the dark. in fact no one seemed to have any trouble seeing at all. some of the celebrants talked about the color of the wine, several confessed the signed the devil's book in red. details that would have had trouble ascertain big moonlight.
i was a victim of my research. had wanted to tie the flying to that of another woman who rode through the dashness on horseback. wanted to stress much he dark, terrifying blackness, was a player in the story. and after all, everybody knows witches fly a little night. of course when i went back to look, there it was, foster's granddaughter, very plainly tells the justice this meeting had taken place at noon. and so ultimately in the final draft, a plush carpet of meadows unfurled below an fosters as she flies to salem or swears the did, over red maples and over streams. there's bright moon in the sky which is no longer dark. there will of course no flights through the air in 1692 or goblins in the parlor or super natural conspiracies in a meadow. how then did these things steam
happen? when you pry the whole chapter apart you site maces uncanny and modern sense itch tell you about anne fosters because happy you take from the become my misreading, reminder how swiftly we jump to conclusions, how easily ignorance and information can lead us astray. fear warps our think can, preconceived notions trip us up. we like to leap at explanations. above all, the salem rates reminds us of the importance of keeping our heads even when that leaves the question unresolved, even when it leaves us offbalance. that's an uncomfortable state. but as a later bostonian noted, bewilderment is crucial. we would be lost in fact without it. seems probable, wrote hen henry james, 200 years after the trial, if we were never bewilder
thread would never be a story to tell about us. thank you. [applause] we have time for questions. who microphones in the aisles for whoever gets there first. >> i'm wondering about why people would confess to something that they didn't really do. you know there was this situation in central park with the central park five. these were teenaged boys, and they confessed. the police worked them over. they confessed to crimes they didn't commit. and i'm wondering what the process is whereby somebody is going to do something like that. >> turns out to be remarkably
easy to extract a false confession but in salem is a ex-exacerbated by other issues. with some of the young men who are accused, they are actually tortured and we have evidence of the fact they had been hung up in a rather grotesque fashion to have the truth ex-attract from them. many of the people who are brought in are women, many of them have never been -- have never stood before an authority before. the men who were interrogating them are the best dressed, wealthiest, best spoken men in the colony. they're terrified. they often are men who are able to reason very logically and very nimbly. a woman who comes into the court and says i'm not a witch, never practiced witchcraft. don't know what witch is, is immediately asked, how then can you be certain you're not a witch if you don't know what witch is. you see the manner of questioning was very circular and rather imprisoning.
it's exacerbated by the fact that confession comes rather naturally to a puritan in the of inadequacy and at the fear you might be complicit on some level, verse close to surface so you hear in some of the testimony people saying, i wasn't able to confess but i don't know if i couldn't because i was innocent or if the devil was stopping my words. so there's a certain confusion. everyone feels he has a spot on his conscious, blemish of some kind, and because there's no such thing as a guilty conscience in the 17th 17th century, that must feel diabolical in some way. by mid-summer the confessions begin to run rampant for an additional reason, which is that it had become clear to people that if you confessed you did not hang. so only the people who re cyst the authorities who go to the gallows, and confession is used as an additional means of protection, and of course inside every confession is a gleaming
bet of shrapnel known as an accusation because you hand over the name of your coconspirator which is why the epidemic spread with the fury it does. >> a large part of the whole salem is gender politic inside 17th century massachusetts. most interested in hearing your thoughts on arthur millers later take on the salem witch trials and particularly how it kind of adds to the gender politics in a way that it makes the women, the young girls, who at the center of the story to be the accusers, the evil ones rather than the individuals who may simply be trying to assert whatever power or agency they might have. >> i guess the short answer to your question, miller diverges from the actual regards in a
zillion ways. whenever you think of the crucible, it's play, it's not history, but the most interesting thing he does with the girls to essex allize them and september i'mize the relationship with john brock for has to raise the age of abigail. makes this into sexual con tick us. the mission piece among the many missing pieces at salem is did any of these guys actually suffer some kind of sexual abuse? the colony felt vulnerable, the girls feel tremendously vulnerable, living in a world where indian attack is imminent and many of them have survived indian attacks and often been -- girls have been assaulted by their -- by the men in the home inside which they lived. most girls didn't live at home. there's servants in other people's homes which means they're prey to master, the thieves house other, servants in the house. there's lot of sexual imagery in accusations but we can't pin in toy these particular girls.
any number of aggressions, rapes, unwanted advances in the court report but not in the salem record. miller took the greatest liberty was in using those vulnerables and take can them to the store where we know a lot about what -- he behinds the girls but we have nothing on the record. >> personal question. in 1953 a fellow from any neighborhood named arthur miller was influenced by the mccarthy era and went to salem because he was looking at an image. did you have something like that, a political thing in your mind, that motivated you to go and do that? >> arthur miller was wonderfully clear about miss motives. the mccarthy was a perfect analogy. i'm not particularly adepartment at saying why i wrote something. only after i finished the book,
to reason is thought i just explained, a friend said to me, did you notice that the entire time you were work on the book you were living with an adolescent girl? was totally lost on me, and moreover 0, girl between the -- of the age of the accusers, the bewitched girls. i would say that i was reading this material about this subversive assault, about these swather where terrorist in the yard, because lot of this about the indians lurk outside and the nefarious catholics who were about to disembark and boston harbor and take over the puritan establishment. was reading that in the wake of iraq, and, yes, think i probably saw an echo of this alien invader idea, invisible enemies lurking among us, it's really all about in many ways terrorism and immigration, and those are two issues which we seem to be grappling with still today, so yes, that may have been some of it but i didn't really see that
in any conscious way at the time. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> so, i did not act in the produce crucible but a direct descendent of anna -- >> my favorite. >> and so i'll be interested in any stores you might have about her but the lore from the family was see targeted as a widow who was in a family property dispute and so i was wondering how much you think there was intentional kind of bickering, targeting going on and whether as n a general matter whether you sort of new arrivals, the ims to the area or whatever was there any kind of rational way that there were certain people being fingered? >> suzanna martin is one of my favorites because one of the few few of the accuse who actually use sarcasm in the court and she is very differ respectful with the justices -- disrespectful with the justices.
has been outspoken and accuse end of witchcraft and that's true of a number of the suspectness 1692. very hard to determine if they had been accused in past because they were stride dent or they're strident because they'd been accused. the accusations come back to be reactivated by the fury in 1692. no one really seems to be prosecuted for reasons of claiming his or her property but many people seem the pretty -- accused for different reasons. in one case there is a decades old longstanding unresolved, overly litigated familial grudge over a property line, and that claims a few lives. in suzanna martin and a few other cases there had been previous court cases which people had bad feelings about. in many cases men are accused because they had formerly been officials, constables, justice offered the peace and told people what why they didn't want to hear and were accused.
in one case an andover constable is accuse because he refuses to round up anymore witch suspects, so after saying i'm done he is immediately accused of witchcraft. >> you allude today ill earlier when you showed some notes on a legal pad, and a different drafts you had for the -- >> that embarrassing thing i showed you. >> ism don't finked it embarrassing mitchell question is, can you take through -- when you have an idea to finish product do you have motivation and then you kind of outline what the book will be or do you just start writing and do you allow it to pivot from point to point? >> in short, because could i do this for several hours, it usually take mist four to five years of which i spend the first three yearser in archive, so i really have no idea where the book begins no idea what i'm looking for necessarily. and i'm just kind of following my way through the archive and just reading as much as i can. for example i didn't know when i
started the book i would be reading mountains of puritan sermoned. ahead nonthat it wouldn't have attempted this book. note really good for the soul. i don't start to -- the material starts to marinate or ferment or whatever verb you want to use, any mind. i knew anne foster was going to be the way into the story. but you're always surprised by what you find, and the whole idea in a funny way to have an open mind when you first begin a project, because you don't -- if you follow a thesis through the woods you'll prove your thesis, and especially in this case, where i felt it raysy incumbent to leave the answers to the opened the book so it read as a thriller with the real explanations at the end. that was important. was the idea of conveying what it felt like to live and breathe the new england air in 1692. what did they dream about, fir,
preoccupations, obsessions, what they were yearning for. i'm told we have one minute left. so if you have a quick question. >> yes. so i was wondering about the extent of the research you do, like, did you find yourself in a courtroom, did you find yourself talking to the geologists about the rocks or just the wood they'd used to build their cabins. actually sit in a courtroom and see how that would be displayed, even though it was still rough? >> i try to get as close as i can to ground level. this is harder when you write about cleopatra. her egypt is gone. no not ian the coast and or the moon is in the right place. this is a little bit easier but very hard to recreate. one point i tied an archivist, what did the houses smell like. he said go to plymouth plantation, brilliant. said to the women what do the re-enactors what their worst
months of the year and every single one said january and february, which is precisely when the witchcraft broke out. just saying. thank you very much. applause produce. [applause] >> we are in our 22nd year of the texas book festival. founded in 1995 by then first lady, laura bush, and a pretty amazing group of dedicated volunteers who decided we just needed to have a book festival in austin, texas, to celebrate texas authors and literacy, and to support our texas libraries.
since those early years, the book festival has just exploded, and very quickly became a national premiere destination for the biggest books of the year. >> join booktvphone the texas book festival live from austin, saturday and sunday, november 4th and 5th on c-span. [inaudible discussion] >> hi, everybody. colin is sit neglect haunted cheer. >> i want to tell a story about the big chair. >> thank you all for coming on this lovely