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The Bewitching

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781473654648

Price: £20

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‘A literary page-turner . . . compulsive and thought-provoking’ Paula Hawkins

A dazzling, shocking novel that speaks to our times, drawing on the 16th-century case of the witches of Warboys.

Alice Samuel might be old and sharp-tongued, but she’s no fool. Visiting her new neighbours in her Fenland village, she suspects Squire Throckmorton’s household is not as God-fearing as it seems and finds the children troubled. Yet when one of the daughters accuses her of witchcraft, Alice has no inkling of how quickly matters will escalate and fails to grasp the danger she is in.

As evidence mounts against Alice, soon the entire village is swept up in the frenzied persecution of one of their own community.

Exploring a neglected episode of English history to powerful effect, The Bewitching vividly conveys the brutal tribalism that can erupt in a closed society and how victims can be made to believe in their own wickedness.

Reviews

SELECT PRAISE FOR THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS
Captivatingly lyrical
Guardian
In a class of its own
Daily Mail
Gripping
Spectator
Set in the 16th century, The Bewitching by Jill Dawson promises a powerful and chilling tale of witchcraft and persecution from one of our most skilful and absorbing storytellers.
Books of 2022, Daily Mail
A deeply satisfying and highly feminist novel . . . Jill Dawson has a knack for putting you right in the time and place, dousing you in terrified concern and setting you alight. Highly recommended.
Louisa Young
Profoundly involving, vivid and new . . . she brings all a poet's skill for the seductive texture of life to a breathlessly exciting narrative.
Christobel Kent
She crafts magic out of darkness and light. Nothing evokes the past as vividly as her deft prose. Dark as The Bewitching is, with its uncanny echoes of our own times, we know we are safe in her superb, story-telling hands.
Philip Hoare
A magnificent writer. I would read her shopping lists.
Cathy Rentzenbrink
A fascinating and deeply disturbing tale of witchcraft, male power, and the age old fear of women.
Caitlin Davies
This powerful novel seizes the reader from the first page . . . it makes us aware of how gossip still traps us, as victims and as perpetrators . . . With her gift for penetrating into peoples' motives and silences Jill Dawson here succeeds in awakening the reality of long-past events.
Gillian Beer