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Six thrilling reads for this Halloween

Posted on: 28/10/2019 with tags: halloween, history, witches

This year for Halloween, we have made a list of six thrilling reads: from wildly fascinating stories of witches around the world to bloody revolutions under the reign of Richard II to odd, unexplained mysteries.   The Virago Book of Witches by Shahrukh Husain The witch: resilient, edgy, awe-inspiring and potent. She never disappears for long . . . A collection of more than fifty stories about witches from around the world. There are tales of banshees, crones and beauties in disguise from Ch…

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Ghost Ships and the End of the World by Karen Maitland

Posted on: 31/10/2016 with tags: Ghost Ships, halloween, karen maitland, Middle Ages, The Plague Charmer, vikings, Medieval, Middle Ages

Since ancient times, the sea has meant life for coastal communities of the British Isles, providing food, salt and even driftwood for building our homes and heating them. But we always have feared the sea too, not just for its own destructive power, but for the ships that sail on it bringing bloodthirsty pirates and warriors like the Saxons and Vikings to loot, rape and slaughter. But many of these early invaders settled and their mythology became part of our folklore which continues even to thi…

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GHOST RULES, by Rebecca Mascull

Posted on: 31/10/2013 with tags: debut novel, ghost story, ghosts, halloween, historical fiction, Rebecca Mascull, The Visitors

I’ve always loved a good ghost story, yet I’d never written one before. When I conceived the idea for the book which became THE VISITORS, I knew it would be about a deaf-blind girl, I knew there would be a love story and a war, but I had no idea there would be ghosts. I certainly did not intend they would take over the whole story and even the title of the novel. Originally, the setting of the story was just after the American Civil War. Thinking about my main character one day, I suddenly had a…

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A Soul Cake for All Hallows’ Eve

Posted on: 31/10/2013 with tags: All Hallows' Eve, An Appetite for Violets, food, Food Historian, Food History, halloween, historical fiction, history, Martine Bailey, Soul Cakes

It is the end of October, the fields are bare, the leaves have been blown from the trees, and the nights are growing longer. The darkness is coming. At this time of year we celebrate the end of summer and the cycle of death and rebirth. From as far back as anyone can remember, on one special night we gather together to share food and drink, play tricks and games. It is a time to connect with our ancestors, and honor the dead. In my home county of Cheshire this gathering has long had a unique nam…

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