Good Friday 1612. Pendle Hill.
A mysterious gathering of thirteen people is interrupted by a local magistrate. Is it a witches' Sabbat?
In Lancaster Castle two notorious witches await trial and certain death, while the beautiful and wealthy Alice Nutter rides to their defence.
Elsewhere a starved child lurks. And a Jesuit priest and former Gunpowder plotter makes his way from France to a place he believes will offer him sanctuary.
But will it? And how safe can anyone be in Witch Country?
If you like her other novels, you will adore this. She has done her homework... the beauty of the writing, exemplary in its pared-down simplicity. It’s so seductive that by the middle I was hooked.
Sharp-eyed view of history... Winterson is at her best her when she’s dealing with real horrors.
It is also one of the lead titles in the launch of Hammer books, and boy have they hit the ground at a most appropriate run. While it doesn't seem to be the typical Jeanette Winterson novel, it does feature religious intolerance and lesbian sex, and neither are new to her oeuvre. Nor is a northern setting, nor a look at the bending of truth and fantasy, and the wish-fulfilment of those wanting more. So this is not just a case of an author following a commission, but it almost seems to be, so brilliantly has Winterson followed the Hammer tradition. Here are black masses, dark spells, heaving bosoms and evil not as some tremendous CGI effect, but starting from something as base as bigotry. Only the fact the characters seem like real people and not stereotypical yokels stops this from creating that lost Hammer classic in the reader's mind.
Jeanette Winterson has embraced horror in this devastating short novel about the Pendle witch trials ... Winterson's fans and horror aficionados will enjoy this humane and at times shocking story ... The Daylight Gate is an unremitting, elegantly crafted tale written in a spare prose style that will haunt you - at least until you pick it up and read it again.
One of the summer’s must-reads…readers can expect a sophisticated, beautifully written novel.
Join us at VINTAGE in a year of challenging ourselves to listen, hear and respond to some of the greatest female writers history has to offer. From Margaret Atwood to Mary Wollstonecraft, revisit your favourites, discover new voices and fill your bookshelf and your year with women’s voices. They matter.
Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn’t work out. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. Read an extract of the novel below