Which Witch Is Best?

November 9, 2017


November - the penultimate month of the year, a time of ghosts and ghouls, souls and spirits.


Halloween at Books@One, the transition from October to November went down a treat (see what I did there). We had Harry Potter Story Time with garish goblins and ghastly ghosts (sorry...can't help myself), as well as our resident Witch (which we like best!).


So much wickedness in one spot got me thinking. 


I just so happened, at the time of this big thinking, to be reading an article in the Irish Times (Linked Here) about Ireland's famous witches. I began to contemplate witches in literature and witches in our bookstores, as in the books that are about witches in our bookstores (not referencing the staff or anything!). Why do we love (or love to hate) witches so much?


Of course a famous witch, which we love, is Hermione and her friends in the entire Harry Potter series but we also have more ancient favourites such as the three witches from William Shakespeare's Macbeth.


 “By the pricking of my thumbs, / Something wicked this way comes,” 

"Eye of newt and toe of frog," and all that business. 


What about Elphaba fro the Wizard of Oz or Circe from Homer's The Odyssey? 


Our own infamous Dame Alice Kyteler, perhaps the most famous of Irish witches, documented in many pieces of literature was an actual real live witch, not a figment of someone's imagiation. 


The Cailleach or Banshee in Irish folklore and of course the many books representing witches and warlocks from around the world is vast. We even have the odd book in the store on the craft and the crafty. 


Martina Devlin's recent book inspired by the Islandmagee witchcraft trials called The House Where it Happened depicts a period of time in Irish history that relished witches. Ronald Hutton's book The Witch delves into detail on the history and fascination around these iconic women. 



We also have a number of contemporary pieces of fiction from global authors. And still they sell. What is it about witches and the occult that fascinates? 


We like to think of ourselves as a modern, twenty first century people, firmly grounded in logic and science, yet...from the number of witches, big and small, who traipsed in to Books@One this  last weekend, I wonder as to our fascination.  One thing is for sure, if its witches, warlocks, waifs or wizards you are interested in, chances are...Books@One has a book about them. 










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