The Last Witchfinder: A Novel

Paperback | March 13, 2007

byJAMES MORROW

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Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see justice prevail, Jennet hurls herself into a series of picaresque adventures—traveling from King William's Britain to the fledgling American Colonies to an uncharted island in the Caribbean, braving West Indies pirates, Algonquin Indian captors, the machinations of the Salem Witch Court, and the sensuous love of a young Ben Franklin. For Jennet cannot and must not rest until she has put the last witchfinder out of business.

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Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see ju...

Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see ju...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.89 inPublished:March 13, 2007Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060821809

ISBN - 13:9780060821807

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Customer Reviews of The Last Witchfinder: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very Complex Jennet Stearne is left in the care her aunt Isobel Mowbray while her father the Witchfinder of Mercia and East Anglia roams the countryside in search of heretics. Isobel a Philosopher and a teacher tries to rationalise the art of Witchfinding but her inquiries soon attract attention. She is found guilty of witchcraft and is burned at the stake. Witnessing the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt, Jennet devotes her life to overturning the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Jennet travels to America where she faces a series of adventures: such as witnessing the Salem witch trials, being abducted by Indians, starting a sensuous love affair with Benjamin Franklin, all before going back to England to meet Newton. On her return to America she is shipwrecked in the Caribbean and is exposed to the local pirates .Reaching her destination, she continues on her quest to disprove the existence of witchcraft. This is a very complex novel firmly rooted in the facts of early 18th century history during the time of clashes between superstition (theology) and the scientific theories (Enlightenment Science). All the characters are engaging especially Jennet although fictional she is portrayed with the same passionate involvement in the natural philosophy found in women of that era. She is a formidable heroine: brilliant, sharp-tongues and courageous. The author gives a different dimension which is quite inventive and original when he introduces a technique to mirror persecution of witches to the present age. Although this style became clearer further on I found it to be a distraction and I lost interest and saw myself skimming through some paragraphs in search of those that would get back to the core of the story. I can’t say that I enjoyed this novel but again I didn’t dislike it, the book has a formidable main story.
Date published: 2008-09-06

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Editorial Reviews

“This lively and thoughtful adventuer is filled with enough satire and plot to fuel two Mark Twain tomes.”