Cotton Mather was the most prominent minister of his time, one whose sermons influenced generations of religious believers. Married three times and the father of 15 children, Mather was an extraordinarily prolific writer and involved in politics and science. The story of his life gives a view of a turbulent period in American history, during which the strict religious beliefs of the early Puritan settlers began to be challenged by a more secular, worldly view of society. During this time, it was Mather's writings, views, and behavior that would spark and influence the Salem Witch Trials. Through an engaging narrative, abundant photographs and illustrations, and reference features, Cotton Mather delves into this fascinating man's life, relating how he influenced early American settler life.