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The Lancashire Witches (Librivox Audiobook)

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The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, i The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, in his story brings in the dissolution of Whalley Abbey and the historic families of Assheton, Braddyll and Nowell and takes us through to the final trial and execution at Lancaster Castle in 1612. (Summary by Andy Minter)


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The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, i The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, in his story brings in the dissolution of Whalley Abbey and the historic families of Assheton, Braddyll and Nowell and takes us through to the final trial and execution at Lancaster Castle in 1612. (Summary by Andy Minter)

30 review for The Lancashire Witches (Librivox Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I'm a Lancashire Lass, and have been brought up with tales of the Lancashire Witches and the famous Witch trials of 1612. I've lost count of the number of times that I walked up Pendle Hill in my youth. The most memorable occasions being on Halloween and also on Good Friday. However, the only Witches that I have seen on Pendle have been on Halloween. A time when people dress up in all sorts of scary costumes and walk up Pendle after dark. I recently downloaded the Kindle version, so thought I'd w I'm a Lancashire Lass, and have been brought up with tales of the Lancashire Witches and the famous Witch trials of 1612. I've lost count of the number of times that I walked up Pendle Hill in my youth. The most memorable occasions being on Halloween and also on Good Friday. However, the only Witches that I have seen on Pendle have been on Halloween. A time when people dress up in all sorts of scary costumes and walk up Pendle after dark. I recently downloaded the Kindle version, so thought I'd write a review. The first time that I read W H Ainsworth's book was when I was 15, then I re read it again in the mid 1980s. Not an easy book for some to read because of all the Lancashire dialect, and a lot of people even abandon reading it. A great novel, and perhaps WHA's most famous. For anyone that does not know anything about the Lancashire Witches, there are other easier texts to read before tackling this one. This is because WHA puts his own slant on the story, deviates from the true facts, the dialect and also a 19th century novel. See Discovery of Witches: The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster for an excellent account of the Witch trials. Even though many books have been written over the years about the Lancashire Witches, this in my mind's eye is a must read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Malum

    One day, your grandkids will be startled to discover that things like witches, vampires, and werewolves used to be figures of horror rather than sexy romance. Before they accuse you of having a fit of alzheimers, you can show this this book. The witches in Ainsworth's The Lancashire Witches are exactly what you might picture a spooky witch to be: old crones that ride around on broomsticks, perform blood sacrifices to Satan, and put hexes on people. Besides that bit of awesomeness, the book is ve One day, your grandkids will be startled to discover that things like witches, vampires, and werewolves used to be figures of horror rather than sexy romance. Before they accuse you of having a fit of alzheimers, you can show this this book. The witches in Ainsworth's The Lancashire Witches are exactly what you might picture a spooky witch to be: old crones that ride around on broomsticks, perform blood sacrifices to Satan, and put hexes on people. Besides that bit of awesomeness, the book is very fast paced considering its age and has enough Satanic shenanigans to keep most horror fans entertained.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Coming from Pendle Country, the Lancashire Witches are deeply ingrained in my psyche and I have read one or two factual books about them and, of course, the classic Mist Over Pendle, which explains the mystic happenings in a very matter of fact way; people die from heart attacks or poison, not witchcraft. Not so with this fabulous book! You want witches flying through the sky on broomsticks? You got it! You want witch's familiars, cats from hell? You got it! It's like Harry Potter for grown-ups Coming from Pendle Country, the Lancashire Witches are deeply ingrained in my psyche and I have read one or two factual books about them and, of course, the classic Mist Over Pendle, which explains the mystic happenings in a very matter of fact way; people die from heart attacks or poison, not witchcraft. Not so with this fabulous book! You want witches flying through the sky on broomsticks? You got it! You want witch's familiars, cats from hell? You got it! It's like Harry Potter for grown-ups and easy to see why W. H. Ainsworth was more popular than Charles Dickens in his day!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    My goodness it took me a month to read this! But then it was a very long 19th century book that I mostly read a few pages off before I fell asleep at night. I was a bit wearing starting this after the last Scott I read being so disappointing but this was not at all. This was a wonderful Gothic story with witches (both good and bad), ghostly monks, and power hungry nobles. Unlike the Scott, so much happened, there was a prequel establishing the witches family, and then their troubles in the time My goodness it took me a month to read this! But then it was a very long 19th century book that I mostly read a few pages off before I fell asleep at night. I was a bit wearing starting this after the last Scott I read being so disappointing but this was not at all. This was a wonderful Gothic story with witches (both good and bad), ghostly monks, and power hungry nobles. Unlike the Scott, so much happened, there was a prequel establishing the witches family, and then their troubles in the time of King James I. It was a wonderful Gothic novel, with lots of agency for the women (even the good ones). I enjoyed it so much I returned to the oxfam where I found it and bought the other three novels by Ainsworth. Unfortunately, most of the witches are killed at the end of the 2nd part and the third part deals mostly with the King's visit, which isn't nearly as interesting, but thankfully the ending makes up for that. Definitely one I'd recommend to people who like supernatural, Gothic, Victorian fiction.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This was an interesting read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Lancashire Witches is my first Ainsworth novel and what is touted as one of his better efforts. It's an absorbing historical romance whose plot is propelled by fantasy -- unless, of course, you believe that witches of the 16th century truly communed with the devil and were capable of casting malicious spells. And that's what makes the novel hard to put down, because by the time we're deep into its middle chapters we are believers, and fearful ones at that. Ainsworth's prose is often dense, oc The Lancashire Witches is my first Ainsworth novel and what is touted as one of his better efforts. It's an absorbing historical romance whose plot is propelled by fantasy -- unless, of course, you believe that witches of the 16th century truly communed with the devil and were capable of casting malicious spells. And that's what makes the novel hard to put down, because by the time we're deep into its middle chapters we are believers, and fearful ones at that. Ainsworth's prose is often dense, occasionally poetic, and generally fairly typical of Victorian era writing, but it successfully pulls you into the world of his characters and their time period. One's vocabulary as regards 16th century words is definitely challenged -- a nice bonus if, like me, you enjoy learning new 'old' words. Many of his characters speak in the Lancashire dialect of the day (one supposes Ainsworth's presentation is close to reality), but if you've read and understood Scott's Scots, then you shouldn't have much trouble following conversations. In fact, as the novel progresses and the unfamiliar words and manner of speaking become familiar, you'll find yourself reading Lancashire as rapidly as you do English. Ainsworth definitely places a premium on history, and the smallest details about clothing, food, and daily life are brought to the fore. The modern reader who wishes for nothing more than the plot to rapidly move along to its climax will now and again find his/her interest stunted. But on two occasions I read 100+ pages in a sitting -- long sittings, granted -- and appreciated the author's extended descriptions of the setting and characters as much as anything. I have not read enough to number Ainsworth among my favorite Victorian writers, but having purchased the Delphi Classics edition of his works, I shall read more of him. Now -- as there's nothing like letting an author speak for himself, here are two spoiler-free passages from the novel to give the uninitiated an idea of Harrison Ainsworth's style: In an early chapter, seven riveting paragraphs are devoted to describing a terrible eruption of water that becomes a killing force. What follows is the second paragraph. A sight of horror was it to behold the sudden rise of that swarthy stream, whose waters, tinged by the ruddy glare of the beacon-fire, looked like waves of blood. Nor less fearful was it to hear the first wild despairing cry raised by the victims, or the quickly stifled shrieks and groans that followed, mixed with the deafening roar of the stream, and the crashing fall of the stones, which accompanied its course. Down, down went the poor wretches, now utterly overwhelmed by the torrent, now regaining their feet only to utter a scream, and then be swept off. Here a miserable struggler, whirled onward, would clutch at the banks and try to scramble forth, but the soft turf giving way beneath him, he was hurried off to eternity. And here, a young woman, seeing the pain that love can cause, reflects on the subject: "If love is to make one mope like an owl, and sigh like the wind through a half-shut casement; if it is to cause one to lose one’s rosy complexion and gay spirit, and forget how to dance and sing — take no pleasure in hawking and hunting, or any kind of sport — walk about with eyes fixed upon the ground, muttering, and with disordered attire — if it is to make one silent when one should be talkative, grave when one should be gay, heedless when one should listen — if it is to do all this, defend me from the tender passion! I hope I shall never fall in love."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Surreysmum

    [These notes were made in 1984. I read this title in the undated but definitely 19th-century "Edition de Luxe" published by G.H. Howell:]. From the frequency with which I see its title, I think this must have been one of Ainsworth's more popular works, and indeed, in terms of a working narrative, it's one of his better ones. The nineteenth-century scholar/historian tone is nearly gone (he pops up sometimes, but he doesn't do a travelogue), and the novel is based on the assumption that witchcraft [These notes were made in 1984. I read this title in the undated but definitely 19th-century "Edition de Luxe" published by G.H. Howell:]. From the frequency with which I see its title, I think this must have been one of Ainsworth's more popular works, and indeed, in terms of a working narrative, it's one of his better ones. The nineteenth-century scholar/historian tone is nearly gone (he pops up sometimes, but he doesn't do a travelogue), and the novel is based on the assumption that witchcraft did exist in fact, and that the elder heroine, Alice Nutter, had sold herself to the devil. As usual with WHA, we are firmly located in place and time; the whole is located in the area of Lancashire near Preston; the opening section is set in the 1536 uprising when Henry VIII dismantled the monasteries, and the rest of the story takes place several generations later in the reign of James VI & I, who was, of course, very interested in witchcraft, and who duly makes his appearance in the last book. No-one lives happily ever after in this rather dismal story. Young Richard is done to death by witchcraft, and Alizon quite properly follows him to the grave. Mistress Nutter, the repentant witch, providentially expires (of grief, of strain?) on her way to the stake. And, of course, the baddies get it - Mother Demdike and Mother Chattox in particular have a spectacular taking-off in a fire on a Lancashire hill. No, the shibboleth is here the saving or losing of souls, and within that rigid framework, the Abbot of Whalley, whose curse sets everything in motion, and who reappears as a ghost, sits uneasily to say the least. The old problem of mixing folk-superstition with theology again. But I did rather enjoy this one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

    It took me several weeks to get past the introduction - in fact, seven years passed before I read the last few pages of it! Which seems the result of witchcraft itself, as seven is one of those witchy numbers. I'm glad I picked this book up again. I quite enjoyed it! It was like reading a Shakespeare play in book form, and I love Shakespeare. The part with King James really dragged for me, but the rest of the books (after the intro) were really good. It was a bit odd how twice in the whole book, It took me several weeks to get past the introduction - in fact, seven years passed before I read the last few pages of it! Which seems the result of witchcraft itself, as seven is one of those witchy numbers. I'm glad I picked this book up again. I quite enjoyed it! It was like reading a Shakespeare play in book form, and I love Shakespeare. The part with King James really dragged for me, but the rest of the books (after the intro) were really good. It was a bit odd how twice in the whole book, it goes from third person to first person. And it also had a tendency to go from past to present tense. But overall, I likes this book quite a lot.

  9. 5 out of 5

    lauren

    My mum bought me this book last year to remind of home (I'm from Lancashire, it's in my blood to love the Pendle witches, and I even wanna write my own fictional book on the events). I've only just gotten round to reading it because I had an idea: to write my 15,000 word dissertation on witches in Victorian lit. Yeah, I'm thinking of doing that. This was interesting. Ainsworth's portrayal of the witches was really fascinating. He relied heavily on stereotypes - you know, witches on broomsticks, My mum bought me this book last year to remind of home (I'm from Lancashire, it's in my blood to love the Pendle witches, and I even wanna write my own fictional book on the events). I've only just gotten round to reading it because I had an idea: to write my 15,000 word dissertation on witches in Victorian lit. Yeah, I'm thinking of doing that. This was interesting. Ainsworth's portrayal of the witches was really fascinating. He relied heavily on stereotypes - you know, witches on broomsticks, throwing stuff into a cauldron and chanting, etc. etc. etc. I really didn't mind this to be honest, it was typical but also fun. I think the witches were the best part of this book, which, I'm assuming, you'd expect to be all 580 pages but no. A lot of this was just waffle, and not the good kind. This definitely could have been cut down, specifically removing all the irrelevant passages. It took me SoooOOOOooOOO long to get through; I wasn't motivated to pick it up because it took a while to get into the story, and when I did, it was just rambling for most of the time. Now, I don't know whether to rate this 2.5 stars? Oh man, idk. Anyway, might write my diss on this, we'll see.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zee

    Based on history, the "romance" in the subtitle is a bittersweet love quite unlike any modern day steamy novel (thankfully). The main theme is good v. evil, church v. witches, honest v. duplicitous. The audiobook read by Andy Minter is quite wonderful listening. I must admit that it was hard to understand the speech pattern of some of the characters - kind of a lazy Irish brogue - and I found the text online. Listening and reading along helped me understand the words initially; later I was able Based on history, the "romance" in the subtitle is a bittersweet love quite unlike any modern day steamy novel (thankfully). The main theme is good v. evil, church v. witches, honest v. duplicitous. The audiobook read by Andy Minter is quite wonderful listening. I must admit that it was hard to understand the speech pattern of some of the characters - kind of a lazy Irish brogue - and I found the text online. Listening and reading along helped me understand the words initially; later I was able to understand just by listening. The author includes some morals and generalizations to his audience that seem to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but often made me smile. Great listening!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nienke Hazenoot

    I liked this novel. I liked the way Ainsworth used writings about actual events and stll gave the characters and the storylines his own particular twist. Sometimes the dialogue was hard to read. I had to get used to it at first, but after I got the hang of it, it added to he authenticity of the whole. The characters are well developed, although a reader shouldn't expect a historically correct representation of them, since, like I said, Ainsworth added his own twist to most of them. The descriptions I liked this novel. I liked the way Ainsworth used writings about actual events and stll gave the characters and the storylines his own particular twist. Sometimes the dialogue was hard to read. I had to get used to it at first, but after I got the hang of it, it added to he authenticity of the whole. The characters are well developed, although a reader shouldn't expect a historically correct representation of them, since, like I said, Ainsworth added his own twist to most of them. The descriptions of the landscape and events show Ainsworth's Lancashire background and the amount of work he put in his research.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Britton

    An interesting concept of Lancashire witches that delves into fantasy and even horror. It needs some translation at first unless you are familiar with Lancashire dialect but the dialect doesn't continue throughout the book. The book shows a good side to Alice Nutter and Alizon Device that is not shown in other books and there are plenty of evil spirits and familiars around Malkin Tower. An interesting concept of Lancashire witches that delves into fantasy and even horror. It needs some translation at first unless you are familiar with Lancashire dialect but the dialect doesn't continue throughout the book. The book shows a good side to Alice Nutter and Alizon Device that is not shown in other books and there are plenty of evil spirits and familiars around Malkin Tower.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Esther Tonks

    My mother is from within view of Pendle and I grew up hearing about the Lancashire witches. This is an engrossing read, partially based on real events, especially if you are familiar with the locations and history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is really hard to get through because it is written in dialect.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Oscar de Muriel

    Loved it! (and by the end I was fluent in Lancashire dialect!)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    1849. JG really dug it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bertje58

    Excellent book. Evil witches, doomed lovers, colorful hunting scenes, avenging ghosts: what more do you want?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sladjana Kovacevic

    Quote:"The squire obeyed, and was instantly carried off his legs, and whisked through the air at a prodigious rate. He felt giddy and confused, but did not dare to leave go, lest he should be dashed in pieces, while Nance's wild laughter rang in his ears. Over the bleached and perpendicular crag—startling the eagle from his eyry—over the yawning gully with the torrent roaring beneath him—over the sharp ridges of the hill—over Townley park—over Burnley steeple—over the wide valley beyond, he went—u Quote:"The squire obeyed, and was instantly carried off his legs, and whisked through the air at a prodigious rate. He felt giddy and confused, but did not dare to leave go, lest he should be dashed in pieces, while Nance's wild laughter rang in his ears. Over the bleached and perpendicular crag—startling the eagle from his eyry—over the yawning gully with the torrent roaring beneath him—over the sharp ridges of the hill—over Townley park—over Burnley steeple—over the wide valley beyond, he went—until at last, bewildered, out of breath, and like one in a dream, he alighted on a brown, bare, heathy expanse, and within a hundred yards of a tall, circular stone structure, which he knew to be Malkin Tower." 🇷🇸 🥣ukus-vino,ipak je to epoha kad su se opijali vinom 🎧zvuk-topot kinjskih kopita 💐miris-šumskog lišća koje lagano truli 🎨boja-tamno plava,boja tmurnog neba 🐙dodir-dodir vetra koji šiba lice u letu 🎭identifikacija(likovi)-vitezovi i dame i zle veštice i ne tako zle veštice,izbor je širok 🤓👻🧙🏼‍♀️vizija(san) -zanimljivo putovanje kroz vreme i prostor,na starinskoj metli. Ipak je to vreme pre aviosaobraćaja 📝ekstra-posle milion savremenih horora,osvežavajuća klasična priča o vešticama ✒ocena9️⃣ 🇺🇸 🥣taste-wine,it is an age when people drank it the most 🎧sound-the tapping of horses 💐smell-forest leaves decomposing slowly 🎨colour-dark blue,cloudy sky 🐙touch-wind on the face flying throug air 🎭identification(characters)-we have knights and dames and evil and not so evil witches,wide variety of choices 🤓👻🧙🏼‍♀️vision(dream)-interesting voyage through time and space,on an old fashioned broom. The time before aciotraffic 📝extra credit-afther million of contemporary horror stories,refreshing classic witch tale ✒grade9️⃣

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brannigan

    I bought this thinking it was a historical nonfiction book about the trial. So I was surprised to find out it is a historical fiction based on the trial written in 1884. It’s alright. The descriptions are long and flowery. The accents from the characters are written oddly. With both of these issues the story very slow reading. I’ve never been a patient reader so I kept getting side tracked in my thoughts and losing my place and yeah.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Misty Gardner

    Harrison Ainsworth is often dismissed these days as being old-fashioned and irrelevant but, in my view, he is a worthy 'competitor' to Charles Dickens and his books still deserve a wider audience. His historical works are perhaps over-romanticised but are of their time and he has a good grasp of period. The Lancashire Witches is atmospheric and captures the times and locality well Harrison Ainsworth is often dismissed these days as being old-fashioned and irrelevant but, in my view, he is a worthy 'competitor' to Charles Dickens and his books still deserve a wider audience. His historical works are perhaps over-romanticised but are of their time and he has a good grasp of period. The Lancashire Witches is atmospheric and captures the times and locality well

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gilbert

    Very interesting look at how witchcraft was treated way back then. Very different from the Harry Potter treatment. The only thing to be aware of is that Ainsworth makes many of the characters talk in dialect, which can be difficult.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Smuts

    Writing style and language is excellent. Unfortunately the story has not aged well; I found that I could not relate to it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is not an easy book to read due to the Lancashire dialect, but great nonetheless

  24. 5 out of 5

    MRS C MARSHALL

    Enjoyed the book from the start Was very interesting Hoping you enjoy as much As I did

  25. 5 out of 5

    James Churchill

    Absolute hokum,and a bit slow in the middle, but an enjoyable story nonetheless. Demon child Jennet Device steals the whole book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Old English literature The story line was fantastic and very entertaining. It gave a fairly arcuate account of the activities and persecution of people accused of being witches. It also gave the accounts of the rich trying to take over the church and outcast of the priest and monks. It told of the back handed and black hearted deals and lengths these politicians would go to to seek power. However where there is greed and deals lay the other side the ancient witches who had indeed been there lyin Old English literature The story line was fantastic and very entertaining. It gave a fairly arcuate account of the activities and persecution of people accused of being witches. It also gave the accounts of the rich trying to take over the church and outcast of the priest and monks. It told of the back handed and black hearted deals and lengths these politicians would go to to seek power. However where there is greed and deals lay the other side the ancient witches who had indeed been there lying in wait blending in where possible but many of these ancient families and witches were known for who and what they were. Evil things happen innocence died. Young love was thrown into the middle ( but of course it wouldn't have been interesting without a romance would it? ) The author takes you through the struggles of this young couple as the girl is destined to become a sacrificial witch but the the witch who has her has second thoughts. The young man is captured by the oldest most powerful witch while the war of religious beliefs fights on at the witches evil doing trying of course to destroy it all. The young lovers discovers after he is rescued that the witch who is keeping her is actually her mother and that is why she has changed her mind and is slowly turning to the light side of magic. Will the couple be together, will the mother fully reach the light side and be strong in the light? Will faith and godliness be destroyed? Can they overcome this wit h who is believed to be as old as time and her faithful coven or is it all for naught? This was again a fantastic piece of literature but not for everyone it is written in the older style and is very long. You really have to enjoy English classics I believe to make it through. I believe a Jane Austen fan might appreciate it for the love story part of it. I have enjoyed reading and rereading it over the years.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    This novel was quite the 'blockbuster' in its day. As an entertainment, it hasn't aged terribly well - it's cliche-ridden and far too long. To be fair, Ainsworth makes no pretence of pursuing historical accuracy and his story bears little relation to the real case. Some of his inventions - such as making the accused peasant, Alizon Device, the illegitimate daughter of a lady, Alice Nutter - have no basis in truth and should not be confused with fact, as has sometimes occurred. But as a plot devi This novel was quite the 'blockbuster' in its day. As an entertainment, it hasn't aged terribly well - it's cliche-ridden and far too long. To be fair, Ainsworth makes no pretence of pursuing historical accuracy and his story bears little relation to the real case. Some of his inventions - such as making the accused peasant, Alizon Device, the illegitimate daughter of a lady, Alice Nutter - have no basis in truth and should not be confused with fact, as has sometimes occurred. But as a plot device, it fits quite well with the 'gothic' tone of the narrative. Ainsworth was a Lancashire man by birth, and his knowledge of the area's geography, folklore and dialect, though incidental to the novel, is quite valuable. He was also one of the first writers to acknowledge that the oldest of the witches, Elizabeth Southern aka 'Demdike', was of noble ancestry.

  28. 4 out of 5

    bup

    I think my favorite thing about this gothic romance is that one of the characters - an attorney working for the crown to ferret out witches (and who, historically, was the clerk of the county) - is just as bad as anybody else. Ainsworth also, although it may have been unintentional, doesn't make clear which way he's going - whether the witchcraft is real, or the creation of a superstitious populace - for a good long while in the telling. But when he makes it clear, he puts the pedal to the metal I think my favorite thing about this gothic romance is that one of the characters - an attorney working for the crown to ferret out witches (and who, historically, was the clerk of the county) - is just as bad as anybody else. Ainsworth also, although it may have been unintentional, doesn't make clear which way he's going - whether the witchcraft is real, or the creation of a superstitious populace - for a good long while in the telling. But when he makes it clear, he puts the pedal to the metal and goes whole-hog. It's a rip-roaring amount of fun. Relatively speaking. You know, for an 1849 novel by a guy who was probably all stuffed shirt and took himself really seriously. Probably thought he was so great. He wasn't so great.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The story moved too slow for my taste. I actually nodded off while listening to the audioboook version. Thought perhaps I would do better actually reading it and attempted to do so but had the same result. It's never a good sign to fall asleep while reading. I struggled to push through this book. I can't really recommend it other than for a good nap. The story moved too slow for my taste. I actually nodded off while listening to the audioboook version. Thought perhaps I would do better actually reading it and attempted to do so but had the same result. It's never a good sign to fall asleep while reading. I struggled to push through this book. I can't really recommend it other than for a good nap.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Read this years ago but had forgotten how hard going the Victorian language could be. Not to mention his interpretation of dialect! And I'm from Lancashire! I'd also forgotten how melodramatic it is and how far from the reality of the historical event. Think I'll have to read Jeanette Winterson's interpretation and possibly a straightforward history book about it. Read this years ago but had forgotten how hard going the Victorian language could be. Not to mention his interpretation of dialect! And I'm from Lancashire! I'd also forgotten how melodramatic it is and how far from the reality of the historical event. Think I'll have to read Jeanette Winterson's interpretation and possibly a straightforward history book about it.

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