Books About Witches

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Legends about witches abound in all cultures. The word witch conjures up an image of an ugly old woman intent on causing harm, using magical powers. Myths and cautionary tales about witches have been passed down through the ages.

Witches in Fairy Tales
Fairy tales for children often depict a witch as the chief antagonist. The witch as chief villain features prominently in these tales:
Sleeping Beauty
Hansel and Gretel
In some fairy tales, the witch takes the form of a beautiful woman. Some examples are:
Snow White
The Snow Queen
The Wild Swans
Other fairy tales have a witch who has cast a spell on one of the principal characters:
The Tinder Box
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
The Frog Prince

Books on Witch-Hunts
Apart from the mythical witches, female practitioners of the occult arts were called witches. At various points in time, they have been persecuted and put to death. This has been chronicled by many authors.
1. Witch Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia by William E. Burns
2. Witchfinders: A Seventeenth- Century English Tragedy by Malcolm Gaskill
3. The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe by Brian P. Levack
4. Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials by Marc Aronson
5. The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege by Marilynn K. Roach
6. Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer

Books on the modern practice of witchcraft: non-fiction
After the unfortunate period of persecution, the word witch has been replaced with wicca. Practitioners have tried to dispel the negative associations of witchcraft, positioning it as a benign pagan belief system.
There are a number of books on the subject. Here is a list of some popular titles.
1. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler
2. Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up by Ellen Dugan
3. Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal and Practical Magick by Ellen Dugan
4. Cottage Witchery: Natural Magick for Hearth and Home by Ellen Dugan
5. Solitary Witch by Silver RavenWolf
6. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
7. The Witches’ God by Janet Farrar and Stewart Farrar
8. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft by Ronald Hutton
9. A Brief History of Witchcraft by Lois Martin
10. Handbook for Hot Witches: Dame Darcy’s Illustrated Guide to Magic, Love and Creativity by Dame Darcy

Witch Fiction
The success of the Harry Potter books are proof that children still want to read about magic, witches and wizards. Childhood fantasies often persist into adulthood, and the demand for witch stories ensure that bookshelves are stocked continuously with such titles.
1. Witch Princess by Imogene Ashton
2. The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
3. Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
4. The Grindle Witch by Benjamin J. Myers
5. The Soul of the Witch by Dana Michelle Burnett
6. Spell Check by Julie Wright
7. Dark Magic by Renee Travis
8. Cynder: In the Garden of Lapis by C. Logan Anthony
9. Dark Corner by Jennifer Treacy Cole
10. Into the Mists by Serene Conneeley
11. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
12. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
13. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
14. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
15. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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