I have been rather neglecting my websites over the summer holidays - many apologies. Recently, my current works-in-progress have also been carefully laid to one side to make way for a new project, which you can buy here
And no, I promise that this wasn't just a procrastination exercise. I was preparing for a brand new book event in nearby Tiverton in Devon. Crime in the Countryside, which took place on 14th September 2019, was a celebration of crime fiction and crime writing and I decided to examine some of Devon's unknown witchcraft cases. It was a chance to think about the concept of "crime" in a different way.
As soon as I started researching, I immediately fell down a rabbit hole of playing cards, calves' hearts and cocoa, amongst other things. The stories were so fascinating that I knew I'd never be able to restrict myself to a half-hour talk. Well, I did, because that was what I had to do! However, to accompany and enhance that talk, I have produced a pamphlet where I share the full details of these cases and offer analysis, suggestions and insights into what may or may not have been going on. CARDS, COCOA AND CHARMS - DEVON'S FORGOTTEN WITCHES was a great project to work on and I have very much enjoyed putting the pamphlet together. I hope that you will find these cases as fascinating as I do!
Many thanks to The Folklore Podcast for featuring Cards, Cocoa and Charms - Devon's Forgotten Witches in the online shop.
One of the many enjoyable and fun things I get to do as part of my work is to chat with some brilliant and inspirational scholars. Today, I had the pleasure of catching up with Professor Marion Gibson in her office at Exeter University, where we were recording a new episode of The Folklore Podcast. Find out about Marion here - and if you're on Twitter, follow her @witchesetc.
My husband Mark Norman, who is the creator and host of The Folklore Podcast, was interviewing Marion about her recent book Rediscovering Renaissance Witchcraft, which covers many intriguing iterations of witches from Macbeth to Matthew Hopkins to Eastwick to Dennis Wheatley to Sabrina. And if that sounds cool, wait until you hear her job title - she's Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures!
Marion is one of the lecturers who has used WITCH as theatre-in-education for her students, so it was great to catch up and spend some time listening to her talking about her inspirations and sharing her thoughts on various topics. The podcast episode will be released at the beginning of April and it's well worth a listen because we talked about so many different aspects of witchcraft - there's some Charmed in there, The Witch of Edmonton, Amicus and Hammer Horror and a couple of excellent reading recommendations from Marion, so keep an eye on The Folklore Podcast's website (link above) and make sure you give "Rediscovering Renaissance Witchcraft" a listen!
Professor Marion Gibson and myself in her office at Exeter University - which has an impressive set of bookshelves which immediately inspired bookshelf envy! (They run the length of the room and are ceiling to roughly waist height and they are FULL!) Image copyright is my own.
Mark and Marion in mid-discussion (Look at the shelves. LOOK AT THEM!) Image copyright is my own.