Tuesday 9 February 2016

Jaffa welcomes Yin the Black Cat....

Jaffa is delighted to welcome to the blog his very special friend

Yin the Black Cat shares her love of witchy historicals

Ever since I was a kitten I’ve always wanted a witch of my own. Unfortunately my human companion won’t let me have one – something to do with making a mess in the kitchen with spells, and too many explosions. And I have to say, my human has a very dull profession which seems to involve sighing a lot and filling the waste paper basket with reject paper. Every now and then a big box of books arrives, but what I can’t understand is, why are they all the same? Why would anyone order fifty books that are all the same? Anyway, she gives a lot of these away, and I get to sleep in the empty box.

When she is not looking I paw through her bookshelves anxious to read all the novels I can about witches. And I have found some gems, which allow me to fantasize about riding a broomstick, or sitting on a shoulder next to a big black hat. That would really make me purr!

Here are my top ten witchy books:

1. My all-time children’s favourite: Gobbolino, The Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams. Fantastic! Do any of you remember this?

 Here's a reminder.

My human companion likes historicals, and being a Lancashire cat, I have a passion for the Lancashire Witches. Two of the best novels I have read on this subject are:

2. The Witch and her Soul by Christine Middleton, and 

3. Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt. 

Both books follow the historical facts and are truly chilling. Sixteen women were tried for witchcraft in 1612, and you can find out more about the real history here.

4. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (the last in the excellent A Discovery of Witches series) - Diana Bishop, a historian and witch, along with vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont, return from the past to the present, and face their old enemies.

5. Witch Child by Celia Rees – the gripping diary of Mary Newbury, whose self-penned story begins in 1659, the year her grandmother is hanged in the public square as a witch. 

6. The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston – in this Celtic witch fantasy, Tilda, a widow and ceramic artist moves to Wales, where Seren, a witch, lived thousands of years ago. Strangely, Tilda starts to have visions of the past…

7 and 8 The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife by Kathleen Kent - Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. These two spine-chilling books follow her extraordinary life.

9. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Now I know it’s not strictly speaking about witches, but it is about magic. And if you like gothic Victoriana, you’ll love this.

10. I Coriander by Sally Gardner - (children’s) Coriander tells the story of her childhood in seventeenth-century London, and of her discovery that she has inherited magical powers from her mother, who was, by the way, not a witch but a fairy princess. 

Bonus! The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth. Any cat interested in magic should check out Kate Forsyth’s books. This particular one, delicate and haunting, revolves around Grimm’s fairy tales, but all her books have a magic at their core.


Now, it’s time for my nap in the sock drawer. Don’t suppose I’ll get a broomstick ride today. Thank you to Jaffa for hosting me. Of course there are ginger cats who get involved in magic (Crookshanks, Hermione Granger’s cat for example). So if any opportunities come your way, Jaffa, please let me know.

Oh, suppose I should say, my human has a website with her books. It’s wwww.deborahswift.com. She writes historical fiction. Her latest is Spirit of the Highway. It features a ghost. A ghost. I ask you. What’s wrong with witches?

Yin the Cat

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Huge thanks to Yin for this fabulous witchery guest post

Jaffa is always pleased to welcome his particular friends to the blog

Come back and see us again soon



  1. Yin should read Terry Pratchetts adventures concerning the witch Granny Weatherwax. She has a cat named Grebo.

    1. Hi and welcome - Thanks so much for reminding me about Granny Weatherwax....:)

    2. Yin hadnt heard of Grebo. great name, Granny Weatherwax! Thanks for the hint.

  2. This was really cute! I know the above titles seem mainly adult books, but years ago,in the 80s, Phyllis Naylor had an MG series that involved witchcraft. I can't remember the name, but it was delightful.

    1. Hi and welcome - Is it the series which starts with The Grand Escape (Cat Pack)? ...off to investigate !! :)

    2. Hi Elizabeth, I hope Jo will find the answer - I'm going to look it up too!

    3. Hi Elizabeth, I hope Jo will find the answer - I'm going to look it up too!

  3. Great interview - I was magicked one of those books (which all look the same and very beautiful) and can't wait to begin reading Spirit of the highway.

    1. Oh, that's lovely Jan - I hope you enjoy your magicked copy of Spirit of the Highway :)


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