Daughters of the Witching Hill
Daughters of theWitching Hill brings history to life in a vivid and wrenching account of a family sustained by love as they try to survive the hysteria of a witch-hunt.
Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow living in Pendle Forest, is haunted by visions and gains a reputation as a cunning woman. Drawing on the Catholic folk magic of her youth, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future. As she ages, she instructs her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft, as well as her best friend, who ultimately turns to dark magic.
When a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate, eager to make his name as a witch finder, plays neighbors and family members against one another until suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights.
Sharratt interweaves well-researched historical details of the 1612 Pendle witch-hunt with a beautifully imagined story of strong women, family, and betrayal. Daughters of the Witching Hill is a powerful novel of intrigue and revelation.
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About the Author
Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. Her inspiration for Daughters of the
Witching Hill arose directly from the wild, brooding landscape: the true story of the
Pendle witches unfolded almost literally in her backyard. All the major characters
and events portrayed in the novel are drawn from court clerk Thomas Potts's
account of the 1612 Lancashire witch trials, in which seven women and two men
from Pendle Forest were hanged as witches. The author of the critically acclaimed
novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also
the coeditor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female
antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.