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Hex: Darkland Tales

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The idea of retrospective exculpation is one which I feel a certain ambivalence towards: if those women, then why not Margaret Maclauchlan and Margaret Wilson, the Wigtown Martyrs, who were killed under law for their beliefs and without any supernatural suppositions? Iris answers Geillis about the present: “no it’s mostly just men doing what they feel entitled to do, certain women’s deaths seem like they are almost, well, expected. Tough and calm, electrifying and intent, it is an intelligent and deeply literary novel which deals its hope and hopelessness simultaneously with a humaneness, both urgent and timeless, rooted in real narrative subtlety.

I truly loved this book, and if you want to know more about my opinions, you can check my spoiler-free review here. During the 2016 Presidential election Hilary Clinton was demonised, particularly on social media, with images of her in a black hat riding a broom. It’s far nearer four-hundred years actually (more characteristic sloppiness) and, in any case, you’ve fallen four-hundred years too short! Given that time is somewhat fluid, this may be just a part of the swarm of thoughts, but it jars a little. The Dead Queen of Bohemia documents the progression of a voice and a life written over the last twenty years.Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) in The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1946) argued that it was not solely economic and political factors that contributed to the rise of fascism. También se han querido meter muchas situaciones a modo de ejemplo en alguno de los discursos de Iris que hacen que sientas que la historia no es más que una excusa y queda un poco forzado. This book demonstrates the scale of the imaginative labour that is required to enter the psychology of a witch panic and to empathise with the witch hunters.

She not only gives the expression from her own historical period in quotation marks but she helpfully translates it for Iris, explaining that it means “stop her from trying to come in.This is the first book by Jenni Fagan that I have read but I am already looking forward to diving into some more of her work, as well as looking forward to finding out a bit more about Scotland’s history in future Darkland Tales books. I wasn't expecting this book to be so heartwrenching; there were several passages that were hard to read and others that made my blood boil. Along the coast of Fife, in villages like Culross and Pittenweem, history records that some women were executed as witches. She goes on to comment: ‘Travelled time all my life’, and then: ‘Five hundred years between us, Geillis Duncan – it’s such a little leap really. The first novel in the series is Rizzio by Denise Mina and revolved around the brutal murder of David Rizzio in 1566, private secretary to Mary Queen of Scots.

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