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Jane Southworth. Bastard daughter of Sir Richard Shireburn, great knight of the realm. Outspoken wife of nobleman John Southworth of Samlesbury Hall. Friend of Alice Nutter, farmer, humanitarian and alleged witch of Pendle. At her dying husband's bedside, Jane's extraordinary diary is born. Confessional, raw, evocative, her soul-deep writings reveal her world, her forbidden beliefs and desires. Around her, in a time of treachery, suspicion and vicious persecution, begins the frenzied pursuit of innocents accused of witchcraft, culminating in a terrible trial that is to pull Jane right into its heart.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
This is usually not my type of books, however I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Jane Southworth, a fictional character at the beginning of the 17th century in the North of England. This beautiful historical drama is very gripping and intimate, full of strong and intriguing characters and detailed locations. The author demonstrates well the conspiracy, the violent persecutions, the religious conflicts and the terrifying witch hunt of those dark times. The historical facts are very interesting and well researched by the author. Jane’s memoirs give us a really good insight about life in England between 1612 and 1652, especially for women. As the narrator, Jane tells us about her life as a bastard daughter of a great knight through childhood, married life and the friendships she made all over the years. It is narrated with gentle humour and poetry which fit very well within the story. Jane’s friendship with the enigmatic character Alice Nutter is captivating and so beautiful right to the end. I liked Jane very well and as a reader, I liked how her story was written. Overall it was an unexpectedly pleasant read which I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical drama or wants to read a different genre of books like me.
"What a wonderful novel by a debut author! One of the best novels I have read this year!"--Historical Novels Review "The Witch and Her Soul, a stunning debut novel from a writer on the threshold of her 80th birthday, is a fascinating and utterly compelling fictionalised but fact-based account of the 'witch hunt' that gripped the county in the summer of 1612... Middleton's writing is elegant and richly descriptive, enabling the past to spring to life with startling authenticity and compelling drama."--Lancashire Evening Post