The Lancashire Witches

The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Title: The Lancashire Witches
  • Author: William Harrison Ainsworth
  • ISBN: 9781592240630
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth The Lancashire Witches Ainsworth s last masterpiece The Lancashire Witches proved a best seller in its day and influenced many contemporary authors The Lancashire Witches begins in the th century in Lancashire England
    Ainsworth s last masterpiece, The Lancashire Witches proved a best seller in its day and influenced many contemporary authors The Lancashire Witches begins in the 16th century, in Lancashire, England When a Cistercian monk, Borlace Alvetham, is falsely accused of witchcraft and condemned to death by his rival, Brother Paslew, he sells his soul to Satan and escapes YearsAinsworth s last masterpiece, The Lancashire Witches proved a best seller in its day and influenced many contemporary authors The Lancashire Witches begins in the 16th century, in Lancashire, England When a Cistercian monk, Borlace Alvetham, is falsely accused of witchcraft and condemned to death by his rival, Brother Paslew, he sells his soul to Satan and escapes Years later, granted the powers of a warlock, he returns in the guise of Nicholas Demdike to witness Paslew s execution for treason Dying, Paslew curses Demdike s offspring who become the titular Lancashire Witches The rest of the book set in the 17th century Mother Demdike, a powerful witch, and her clan face rival witches, raise innocent young Alizon Devi as their own, and try to corrupt Alizon despite her innocent ways Ultimately, the book becomes a struggle between Heaven and Hell, with Alizon s fate hanging in the balance.
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    About William Harrison Ainsworth


    1. William Harrison Ainsworth was educated at Manchester Grammar School and later articled to a solicitor, deserting this profession for literature.Among his best known novels are The Tower of London 1840 , Old St Paul s 1841 , Windsor Castle 1843 and The Lancashire Witches 1848.


    232 Comments


    1. 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 [...]

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    2. 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 eas [...]

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    3. 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 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 [...]

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    4. 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 Ki [...]

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    5. 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, occasio [...]

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    6. 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 o [...]

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    7. 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.

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    8. 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.

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    9. Loved it and by the end I was fluent in Lancashire dialect

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

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

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    12. 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 [...]

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    13. 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 [...]

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    14. 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 wh [...]

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    15. 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 ju [...]

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    16. 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.

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    17. 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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    18. Interesting historical tale.

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    19. Unreadable Sad because my Nana gave me this book before she died and I literally can t understand the Lancastrian dialogue used for the peasant characters, and had to give up.

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    20. The Lancashire Witches A Romance of Pendle Forest by William Harrison Ainsworth 2009

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    21. What a fun old fashiondy read So much archaic language but an interesting story if you want to plow through the phonetic dialogue.

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