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The English Lessons that Opened up New Things

Isn’t the title weird?

So basically, in school, we are reading a book called The Merrybegot. Btw, a Merrybegot is a person conceived on 1st May and they are sacred and special to nature. When we usually read books in school, they are very boring, like the steaming wreck Varjak Paw. But this one we are reading is actually interesting! It is about a girl, who is the granddaughter of a cunning woman, someone who can make herbal remedies to help people, a kind of ‘witch’, I suppose. She is just living her life, just as normal, but then a witch-hunter comes in and she has to flee. Then there is another part of the story, called the Confession of Patience Madden, where the girl (when she is writing it, she is an old lady) is talking about the events with her sister, involving some frolicking and a lot of accused witches and lots of religion and… Puritanism. It’s set in the 1600s, when everyone (well, not everyone) is being accused of witchcraft. This girl, Patience, is the minister’s daughter and when some bad things start to happen, no one blames Patience’s sister, although she is acting suspiciously. All the fingers are pointed at the cunning woman’s granddaughter.

Sorry if the summary confuses you, but I’ll carry on. This book is really good! I like it how there’s a balance of the more light-hearted chapters in the village with the cunning woman’s granddaughter and the darker, more serious chapters with Patience. We have lots of characters, like a chicken, piskies (or pixies), farting old men and Charles II! That’s just in Nell’s chapters (Nell is the cunning woman’s granddaughter). It is really good how the author manages to link the two stories together. Patience’s chapters see a different side to the village (she was there at the time, but a much younger girl, and when she is writing it down, it is 50 years later), but we see some of the same characters as in Nell’s chapters. There is a good ending chapter where everything is wrapped up and the person you think frolicked with someone else (not to be revealed) is completely innocent! There is a twist!

I actually finished the book in the lesson, although the rest of the class are only on page 109. But I really didn’t like when the teacher kept stopping and talking about it, so I listened and read at the same time (a skill I have not quite perfected).

This book has opened my eyes to a new ‘sub-genre’ of books. I LOVE historical fiction, but now I really want to read more about witches and witchcraft, especially as I have just finished Witch Child and Sorceress. My Amazon wishlist has a few witch-related books in it!

And this book has really inspired me to write. I love writing already, and I’m writing a story/book/novel, and I want to continue writing it, but it’s on a different computer (grr).

So I recommend reading this book!!

So mote it be!

Your witchy and historical blogger, Jaz


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