This prologue provides a brief background on the breakdown of Elizabeth Tuttle's marriage. It examines the petition for divorce filed by Richard Edwards, Elizabeth's husband, charging her of abuse that he claims began in the early days of their marriage and continued with only a few periods of remission for almost twenty-three years. No record exists of what Elizabeth said when she learned of her husband's petition, but her silence implies a more complex narrative that uncovers a hidden world of murder and madness, hasty marriage and thwarted ambition. Searching for Elizabeth's answer to Richard's charges is a reminder that, despite the basic stability of the puritan family during the first century of settlement, individual families did not always flourish.
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