The Lancashire witches, a romance of Pendle forest. By: William Harrison Ainsworth, illustrated By: Sir John Gilbert (21 July 1817 - 5 October 1897).: Forty novels (World's classic's)

The Lancashire witches, a romance of Pendle forest. By: William Harrison Ainsworth, illustrated By: Sir John Gilbert (21 July 1817 - 5 October 1897).: Forty novels (World's classic's)

by William Harrison Ainsworth, Sir John Gilbert


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, September 20


The Lancashire Witches is the only one of William Harrison Ainsworth's forty novels that has remained continuously in print since its first publication.It was serialised in the Sunday Times newspaper in 1848; a book edition appeared the following year, published by Henry Colburn. The novel is based on the true story of the Pendle witches, who were executed in 1612 for causing harm by witchcraft. Modern critics such as David Punter consider the book to be Ainsworth's best work.E. F. Bleiler rated the novel "one of the major English novels about witchcraft".
Biographical background and publication:
The subject of the Pendle witches was suggested to Ainsworth by antiquarian and long-time friend James Crossley, President of the Chetham Society. During 1846 and 1847 Ainsworth visited all of the major sites involved in the story, such as Pendle Hill and Malkin Tower, home of the Demdikes, one of the two families accused of witchcraft. He wrote the story in 1848, when it was serialised in the Sunday Times newspaper. On completion of the work, Ainsworth was paid £1,000 (equivalent to about £78,600 as of 2008), and the copyright reverted to him.
As was common practice at the time, the novel was published in a three-volume set, known as a "triple decker". The first edition was produced by Henry Colburn in 1849, with the subtitle "A Romance of Pendle Forest". At £1 11s 6d, about the amount that a skilled worker could earn in a week, it was expensive. Routledge published an illustrated edition in 1854, reissued in 1878. The twelve full-page illustrations were by John Gilbert.
Ainsworth based his story largely on the official account of the Lancashire witch trials written by the clerk to the court, Thomas Potts, first published in 1613 under the title The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster. Potts himself makes an appearance in the novel, as a "scheming and self-serving lawyer".
Book one is set against the backdrop of the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising by northern Catholics against the English Reformation instituted by King Henry VIII...
William Harrison Ainsworth (4 February 1805 - 3 January 1882) was an English historical novelist born at King Street in Manchester. He trained as a lawyer, but the legal profession held no attraction for him. While completing his legal studies in London he met the publisher John Ebers, at that time manager of the King's Theatre, Haymarket. Ebers introduced Ainsworth to literary and dramatic circles, and to his daughter, who became Ainsworth's wife.
Ainsworth briefly tried the publishing business, but soon gave it up and devoted himself to journalism and literature. His first success as a writer came with Rookwood in 1834, which features Dick Turpin as its leading character. A stream of 39 novels followed, the last of which appeared in 1881. Ainsworth died in Reigate on 3 January 1882....
Sir John Gilbert RA (21 July 1817 - 5 October 1897) was an English artist, illustrator and engraver.Gilbert was born in Blackheath, Surrey, and taught himself to paint. His only formal instruction was from George Lance. Skilled in several media, Gilbert gained the nickname, "the Scott of painting". He was best known for the illustrations and woodcuts he produced for the Illustrated London News....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781546345169
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/28/2017
Pages: 390
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews