Context: The Mermaid and the Bear

Self picked up a copy of The Mermaid and the Bear when she was in Oxford (UK). She started reading it while visiting friends in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania.

Her progress is rather slow, because — well, because the prose demands close reading. The writing is very evocative.

She knew it was a historical novel so, a few minutes ago, she decided to peruse the Historical Notes at the back of the book. Omg. Gut-wrenching.

If you know nothing about the 16th century witch trials, this is a SPOILER ALERT!

  • Isobell Manteith, Bessie Thom and Christen Mitchell were real women, all accused of witchcraft in 1597.

To tell you the truth, her favorite character is the motherly cook, Bessie Thom. Self did hope she would meet a better end than the others.

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