England’s Witchcraft Trials written by Willow Winsham and published by Pen & Sword Books – £12.99 – Softcover – Pages 168
With the echo of that chilling injunction hundreds were accused and tried for witchcraft across England throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. With fear and suspicion rife, neighbour could turn against neighbour, friend against friend, with women, men and children alike caught up in the deadly fervour that swept through both village and town.
From the feared “covens” of Pendle Forest to the victims of the unswerving fanaticism of The Witch Finder General, so-called witches were suspected, accused, and dragged into the spotlight to await judgement and their final fate.
This book takes me back to the days when I would watch ghostly and supernatural-type programmes such as Most Haunted etc. This book covers 5 witchcraft stories including the Pendle Witch Trials and the Bideford Witches in some spooky details. These stories are all set in England obviously but we get some great writing and detail put into the telling of the stories and really shows the harshness and even bizarre way these women were treated. Having done further research into the way women and communities were treated and torn apart by these stories and allegations, it’s really fascinating. This is a good book and written very well with lots of research shown in the endnotes. In fact, if you go through the endnotes you can hone in on other pieces of work in order to do further research. As a basic introduction to Witchcraft in England, this is a great book I would happily recommend.