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Widdershins  By  cover art

Widdershins

By: Helen Steadman
Narrated by: Christine Mackie
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Publisher's summary

The Newcastle Witch Trials Trilogy: Book 1

Jane Chandler is an apprentice healer. From childhood, she and her mother have used herbs to cure the sick. But Jane will soon learn that her sheltered life in a small village is not safe from the troubles of the wider world. From his father's beatings to his uncle's raging sermons, John Sharpe is beset by bad fortune.

Fighting through personal tragedy, he finds his purpose: to become a witchfinder and save innocents from the scourge of witchcraft. Widdershins tells the story of the women who were persecuted and the men who condemned them.

Based on the little-known 1650 Newcastle witch trials, where fifteen women and one man were hanged for witchcraft on a single day in August 1650.

©2017 Bell Jar Books (P)2024 Bell Jar Books

Critic reviews

“Impeccably written, full of herbal lore and the clash of ignorance and prejudice against common sense, as well as the abounding beauty of nature, it made for a great read. There are plenty of books, both fact and fiction, available about the witch-trial era, but not only did I not know about such trials in Newcastle, I have not read a novel that so painstakingly and vividly evokes both the fear and joy of living at that time.” Sally Zigmond, Historical Novel Society

Widdershins is a dark and wonderful novel, rich in historical details, herbal lore, traditions and superstitions. Steadman’s clear eyed storytelling and colourful period voice give life to a vibrant cast of characters drawn against the backdrop of tragic historical events. A compelling and memorable tale!” Louisa Morgan, A Secret History of Witches

“A compelling and nuanced account of the clash of cultures that claimed so many lives. Steadman’s carefully interwoven narrative conjures a world of herbal lore, folk practice and belief and convincingly portrays the psychological and ideological forces that form a perpetrator, and the social structures that sustain him.” Helen Lynch, The Elephand and the Polish Question

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