On Sale: February 19, 2019
Hardcover / e-Book
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The Essex Serpent meets The Miniaturist in this rich and
compelling historical novel, set against the frenzy of the
real 1612 Witch Trials of Pendle Hill, that explores the
rights of 17th century women, as the fate of a noblewoman
and her unborn child rests on proving the innocence of her
midwife, an accused witch.
Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child
again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit,
and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then
Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a
dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By
chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to
help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands
accused of witchcraft.
Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must
risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s
lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom.
Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only
they know the truth. Only they can save each other.
Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real
Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of
17th-century women and raises the question: Was
witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth,
Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical
figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over
the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or
“familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing
“witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.
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