The Manningtree Witches

£8.99

England, 1643. Parliament is battling the King; the war between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers rages. Puritanical fervour has gripped the nation, and the hot terror of damnation burns black in every shadow. In Manningtree, depleted of men since the wars began, the women are left to their own devices. At the margins of this diminished community are those who are barely tolerated by the affluent villagers – the old, the poor, the unmarried, the sharp-tongued. Rebecca West, daughter of the formidable Beldam West, fatherless and husbandless, chafes against the drudgery of her days, livened only by her infatuation with the clerk John Edes. But then newcomer Matthew Hopkins, a mysterious, pious figure dressed from head to toe in black, takes over The Thorn Inn and begins to ask questions about the women of the margins.

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Fear and suspicion take root among the women of Manningtree, when the Witchfinder General comes to town… WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA PRIZE’Riveting, appalling, addictive’ Megan Nolan England, 1643. Puritanical fervour has gripped the nation. In Manningtree, depleted of men since the Civil War began, the women are left to their own devices and Rebecca West chafes against the drudgery of her days. But when Matthew Hopkins arrives, asking bladed questions and casting damning accusations, mistrust and unease seep into the lives of the women. Caught between betrayal and persecution, what must Rebecca do to survive? ‘Brilliantly written… fascinating and compelling’ Stylist ‘Glimmers with darkness and glints with fear… Vivid and original’ Daily Mail ‘Not just the best debut novel I’ve read in years, it’s the best historical novel I’ve read since Wolf Hall’ Sandra Newman