A grimly intoxicating blend of history, crime and folklore is richly evoked in Armitage’s new BBC Four documentary, The Pendle Witch Child. Next year marks the fourth centenary of the notorious 1612 trial, the largest of its kind in England at the time. Continue reading
Wicked Enchantments: A History of the Pendle Witches and Their Magic by Joyce Froome
With its 400th anniversary approaching, the Pendle witch trial of 1612 is once again the focus of historical discussion. What was the largest investigation of its kind in England (until the Matthew Hopkins purges in East Anglia some thirty years later) is now, ironically, a mainstay of the East Lancashire tourist industry.
In 2007, John C. Clayton’s The Lancashire Witch Conspiracy brought a new focus on local history and genealogy to the now legendary case. This year, Joyce Froome, an assistant curator at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, has brought her own knowledge of magic to the table. Continue reading
William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882) was a historical novelist and one of the most popular English authors of the later 19th century. Born in Manchester, he trained as a lawyer and practised in London, but his true ambitions were always literary. In his youth, Ainsworth read adventure stories and was an admirer of Dick Turpin, the highwayman whose exploits were the subject of popular legend. The tale of Turpin’s overnight ride from London to York on his steed, Black Bess, featured in Ainsworth’s first novel, Rookwood (1834.)