A Mirror for Witches

A Mirror for Witches is a Ebook This is an absolutely fascinating story written in a style I haven t come across before If you re a reader who likes reading about the Salem witch trials you need to

A Mirror for Witches is a Ebook This is an absolutely fascinating story written in a style I haven't come across before. If you're a reader who likes reading about the Salem witch trials, you need to add this to your list pronto.Forbes wrote this book back in the late 1920's, but the style and "voice" she used for the narrative is so authentic to the 17th century that it's almost like reading a 350 year old manuscript. It's written in 3rd person, almost like a moral/religious text primer, with elaborate and long-sentenced chapter titles and black and white woodcut prints throughout.The story itself, concerning the life of an orphaned girl named Doll Bilby, is both pathetic and compelling at the same time. Doll's parents were both burned as witches/warlocks in Brittany and Doll witnesses their fiery deaths. An English merchant sea captain adopts Doll and takes her home to his wife, who despises Doll from day one and attributes all kinds of satanic powers to the child. The Puritan Bilby family soon leave England for the new world and settle into a small community near Salem, MA. As Doll grows into womanhood, her wild and un-Puritan-like ways set her against the rigid religious community. It doesn't help that she's also a beauty.The narrative is written in such a way as to showcase the outrage against Doll's perceived witchcrafty-ness, while at the same time provoking in the reader the very opposite effect. The supernatural events related throughout the story can all have an alternative, logical, man-made source, but is deliberately vague as to whether Doll's alleged crimes are occult in nature, or just the product of the hyper-religious superstition, hysteria and hatred that was prevalent in the culture at that time.Excellent, thought-provoking stuff.. A novel written in the 1920s and set in the Salem witch hunting days A young girl is convinced by the spirit of the times that the accusation against her of witchcraft is true.. Good Kindle A Mirror for Witches A Mirror for Witches (1928) - Esther ForbesDark, powerful and wonderfully wrought! You're probably familiar with the author for her book Johnny Tremain, but i did not know of this book written 15 years earlier for older readers. Highly recommended. There is much here to discuss when read in a book group.========================================================================What follows aren't spoilers, but if you want to read thisbook knowing nothing before you start, then go do that.========================================================================This book uses a sort of unreliable narrator (sometimes a dislikable narrator) to great affect. If a story's context is the distorted beliefs and prejudice of a collective group, placing the narrator with the group and having the gap lie between the reader and narrator adds extra stress and drama to the story. This dissonance forces the reader to do the work to make moral sense of the story and increases the reader's bond with a main character isolated on the outside. The risk is having the reader swayed inordinately by the narrator and joining the distorted world of the group. This story never fails in this risk although at moments i found myself dramatically flickering along the edge. Adding to the sense of drama, is this book's realistic "period voice", which again adds work and reward to the reader.[I'd love to hear a comment if you can think of a story that takes this sort of risk and fails.:]About the illustrations in the book: The wood cuts by Robert Gibbings are a pleasing blend of influence from the novel's time and a sort of style contemporary to their creation in the 1920s.========================================================================Very minor spoilers ahead.========================================================================I really love that the reader's bond with the isolated includes the main character and the [non-human:] animals.Quite a zing in that final sentence don't you think? Interesting that it seems to break the time setting through to today.Quote from book:... in that world of witchery which none today will ever see. For in those days there were sights and wonders that will not come again. In those days God was nearer to man than He is to-day, and where God is there also must be His Evil Opponent -- the Prince of Lies, for show me Paradise, and there around a corner, I will show you Hell.
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  1. Esther Forbes was born in Westboro, Massachusetts in 1891, as the youngest of five children Her family roots can be traced back to 1600s America one of her great uncles was the great historical figure and leader of the Sons of Liberty, Sam Adams Her father was a probate judge in Worcester and her mother, a writer of New England reference books Both her parents were historical enthusiasts.Even as a little child, Forbes displayed an affinity for writing Her academic work, however, was not spectacular, except for a few writing classes After finishing high school, she took classes at the Worcester Art Museum and Boston University, and later, Bradford Academy, a junior college She then followed her sister to the University of Wisconsin where Forbes wrote extensively for the Wisconsin Literary Magazine After developing her writing skills, she returned to Massachusetts where she began working for Boston s Houghton Mifflin As a reader of manuscripts, Forbes used this experience to advance her own writing career Her first novel, O Genteel Lady was published in 1926 to critical praise With its selection by the newly formed Book of the Month Club, the novel gained popular appeal as well That year, Forbes also married Albert L Hoskins, Jr a Harvard Law School student.As Forbes continued to write and gain notoriety, her marriage suffered because her husband disapproved of her career They divorced in 1933 After several other novels, Forbes began her research of Paul Revere with her mother, who was then in her mid eighties When the historical biography, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In won the Pulitzer Prize in History, Forbes recognized her mother s immense contributions During the process of researching Paul Revere, Forbes became fascinated with the large role young apprentices played in the war Thus, she wrote Johnny Tremain, a historical novel of a young boy growing up in the time of the Revolutionary War With poignant character development and a keen sense of history, it contained the elements for lasting popularity It was published as A Novel for Old and Young In 1944, it won the Newberry Award, the top award for children s literature and became an instant children s classic Forbes continued to turn out award winning books, most notably, The Running of the Tide, which was commissioned as a movie but never filmed While working on a book about witchcraft in seventeenth century Massachusetts, she died in 1967 of rheumatic heart disease.Forbes literary achievements, awards, and recognition speak for themselves in regards her place in letters Johnny Tremain is still read widely in schools and its popularity makes it one of the few lasting classics of American children literature.

456 Reply to “A Mirror for Witches”

  1. This is an absolutely fascinating story written in a style I haven t come across before If you re a reader who likes reading about the Salem witch trials, you need to add this to your list pronto.Forbes wrote this book back in the late 1920 s, but the style and voice she used for the narrative is so authentic to the 17th century that it s almost like reading a 350 year old manuscript It s written in 3rd person, almost like a moral religious text primer, with elaborate and long sentenced chapter [...]


  2. A Mirror for Witches 1928 Esther ForbesDark, powerful and wonderfully wrought You re probably familiar with the author for her book Johnny Tremain, but i did not know of this book written 15 years earlier for older readers Highly recommended There is much here to discuss when read in a book group What follows aren t spoilers, but if you want to read thisbook knowing nothing before you start, then go do that This book uses a sort of unreliable narrator sometimes a dislikable narrator to great aff [...]


  3. Why is The Crucible the story of choice in HS This is SO much better I love how the author gives thoughts and feelings from various characters so it is not just a one sided glimpse into this part of history.


  4. I found this novel psychological than historical Was Doll actually a witch, or was she led to believe it by jealous and superstitious people Did she take a d mon lover, or were unscrupulous men abusing her This book is rich in horror and tragedy and interpretation I recommend it highly It gets better with each read.


  5. I found an original copy from 1928 in an Antiquarian book store It s absolutely incredible how graphic it is for a book written in 1928 Esther was a well educated woman I plan on seeking her other writings out.


  6. I re read this on one sitting I could not put it down Nothing short of a work of genius a lively, vivid and strange use of an unreliable omniscient narrator Why is this book not widely read




  7. The story is interesting It is a little hard to get past the archaic language, I often had to re read a paragraph to understand the gist, but that also added to the authenticity of the story.


  8. This is a superb and curious novel, set in Salem, 1600s Written in the style of a 17th century tract, the book tells the story of Doll Bilby, an orphan whose parents were both burned as witches Is Doll a witch Does she become the witch her accusers believe her to be Or is everything explainable in modern terms so obvious to us now The genius of this thought provoking book is to provide a narrative in which each episode sustains multiple interpretations psychological demonic sexual Told via an un [...]


  9. I gave this book such a high rating because I could not put it down I had a running commentary in the back of my head based in modern ideology, but it was an interesting look into a world view completely different from my own.






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