Friday, 1 June 2012
Pendle Witch Summer
August 2012 commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials in which nine people from the Pendle region in Lancashire, England were hanged as witches based on the testimony of a nine-year-old girl. Mother Demdike, the most notorious of the accused witches, died in Lancaster Prison before she could even come to trial. She is the heroine of my novel Daughters of the Witching Hill.
To commemorate this solemn anniversary, I will be taking part in several events this summer.
8:00 Friday 15 June, I'll be telling tales of cunning woman Mother Demdike and the Queen of Elfhame at the Storytelling Circle at Pendle Witch Camp.
2:30 Sunday 24 June, I shall appear in historical costume to discuss the Pendle Witches' true and tragic story and to read from Daughters of the Witching Hill at Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford.
August 17-19, I'll be a speaker at the Capturing Witches Conference at Lancaster University, a multi-disciplinary academic gathering with speakers addressing everything from historical witchcraft to fictional treatments of the witches to Neopagan belief to the current witchhunts still targeting children in Nigeria.
It's my hope that these events draw attention to the often overlooked fact that the Lancashire Witches are not some ghoulish sideshow, but real women and men who suffered and died on account of ignorance and religious intolerance. May all witch hunts end forever.