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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bainbo Folklore: Pendle Witches. Cottage found? (32) RE: Folklore: Pendle Witches. Cottage found? 09 Dec 11

Mo - Indeed. Pendle Hill could be rendered as Hill-Hill Hill. And one of the many places you can see it from is in Ribchester, if you go the end of Stoneygate Lane. Or Lane-Lane Lane.

Bizarrely, I've just finished re-reading The Lancashire Witches, the Victorian piece of nonsense by Harrison Ainsworth. It starts off nicely ambiguous, expressing sufficient doubt about whether these women were really witches or just the victims of an atmosphere of fear and superstition whipped up by King James's conviction that there were witches everywhere to be got rid of. So far, so Salem.

But it's not long before they're worshipping the Devil at witches' Sabbaths, consorting with familiars, flying on broomsticks and casting curses. Not too subtle, then. The obnoxious part of this is that he uses for his characters the real people who were burnt as witches despite, as banjoman points out, there being no real evidence. Damaging to thier memories and a nasty piece of fiction.

I recommend as an antidote The Trials Of The Lancashire Witches, by Edgar Peel and Pat Southern, which aims to set the stories in a proper context and repair the damage done by Ainsworth.

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