The Last Witchfinder

The Last Witchfinder

3.52 (1,341 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jennet is the daughter of the Witchfinder of Mercia and East Anglia. Whilst her father roams the countryside in search of heretics, Jennet is left behind to be schooled by her aunt Isobel in the New Philosophy principally expounded by Isaac Newton. But her aunt's style of scientific enquiry soon attracts the attention of the witchfinders. To save her aunt, Jennet travels to Cambridge to seek the help of Newton himself. Isobel is burned at the stake but in her dying moments, begs Jennet to devote her life to overturning the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. This is a huge rollercoaster of a novel as Jennet travels to America and witnesses the Salem witch trials; is abducted by Indians; begins an affair with Benjamin Franklin; travels back to England and finally meets the real Newton; is shipwrecked; then ends up back in America where her brother is now the Witchfinder Royal. In a great final showdown between old superstition and new science, Jennet decides to have herself accused of witchcraft in order to disprove its existence.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 34mm | 370g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6
  • 0753821532
  • 9780753821534
  • 697,344

About James Morrow

James Morrow has lectured and worked in the fields of magazine publishing and television, as well as writing for children. He has written several books of science fiction but this is his first novel for the general audience.
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Review quote

This is a historical romp that makes most other novels bearing that description seem like a retroactive wriggle -- Tom Cox DAILY MAIL 23.03.07 This picaresque, idiosyncratic and erudite work is garnished with no small measure of wit THE HERALD This picaresque adventure marries philosophy, science and outlandish humour THE INDEPENDENT
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Rating details

1,341 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 21% (285)
4 36% (482)
3 24% (328)
2 11% (145)
1 8% (101)

Our customer reviews

I found this book fascinating and a little strange at the same time! The writing style gets a bit of getting used to but once you get into the book its great! Set in England in the 17 century. Jennet Stearne is an intelligent precocious young woman her, aunt Isobel is a radical thinking woman and excellent teacher who takes on Jennet's education whilst her father and brother travel round the country hunting down witches and bringing them to justice, with some of the extraordinary methods used in the times. Things go well until the witchfinders find Isobels scientific experiments and style of teaching too much like "Witchcraft" to understand! Isobel is tried and executed as a witch and Jennet determines to overturn the Parliamentry witchcraft act and bring about the end to the barbaric crimes carried out by the Witchfinders in the name of the lord! Jennets father and brother are exhiled to the Americas for overstepping his authority, and Jennet has to go too as she is only 12, and her adventures begin. I really do not want to tell you the whole plot but it is a rollercoaster of a ride. Anyone interested in Witchcraft trials and 17th century life would find this a really good more
by Penny Cunningham
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