GOOD FRIDAY, 1612. Pendle Hill, Lancashire.
A mysterious gathering of thirteen people is interrupted by local magistrate, Roger Nowell.
Is this a witches' Sabbat?
Two notorious Lancashire witches are already in Lancaster Castle waiting trial. Why is the beautiful and wealthy Alice Nutter defending them? And why is she among the group of thirteen on Pendle Hill?
Elsewhere, a starved, abused child lurks. And a Jesuit priest and former Gunpowder plotter, recently returned from France, is widely rumoured to be heading for Lancashire. But who will offer him sanctuary? And how quickly can he be caught?
This is the reign of James I, a Protestant King with an obsession: to rid his realm of twin evils, witchcraft and Catholicism, at any price...
Jeanette Winterson (born 1959) is a British novelist. She was made an officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2006 New Year Honours.
Photo: Jeanette Winterson, Warsaw, Poland, 16 February 2005. Photo author: Mariusz Kubik. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.