My Schedule @Worldcon75

WorldCon in Helsinki is coming up shockingly soon. Hope to see you there. I’m unlikely to have much time to post while I’m there, but I’m sure to be tweeting. I hope to meet up with a lot of friends I’ve not seen in a while (relatives, too!). My schedule is conveniently grouped for single…

Sounds of Dundee

I’ve put up a recent field recording that I made in Dundee last month. On Peter Street just off the Murray Gate there’s a little passage way where you’ll find the Grissell Jaffray memorial, a blue plaque and pair of mosaics. She was the last witch executed in the city. I just hung out for…

Revisiting Anglo-Saxon Magic: #FolkloreThursday

The days are just packed! So forgive me if I offer a little repeat: my first two posts for Witches & Pagans as ‘History Witch’ dealt with Anglo-Saxon traditions of magic and healing. Just the thing for the #FolkloreThursday madness. Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Magic, Part 1 Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Magic, Part 2 Check out all…

Magic & Moonlight

There’s a blue moon tonight: won’t be another for three years. If you can, get out there and howl a little. The full moon brings a little magic out in everyone — and maybe the wolf, too. I have a piece up at the Cultural Gutter: Strange Men and Magic looks at my new obsession,…

Disreputable Magic

My thoughts have turned perhaps inexorably to the intersection of crime and magic in the Middle Ages, as my interests seem to intensify where they overlap. Or it just amuses me as I turn my mind to other topics to exercise different muscles in my head (so to speak). Missing Strange & Norrell (the series;…

Why Women Witches?

Over at my History Witch column, I explain something that I’ve come to call ‘The Great Conflation’ or what Michael D. Bailey theorised about how a Dominican theologian might have inadvertently changed history, leading to the specific gendered nature of the witch hunts of the Early Modern era and the so-called Age of Enlightenment. Of…

Making Magic Respectable

Like many folks here, I am greatly enjoying Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It’s a terrific fantasy series: I can’t tell you how well it adapts Susanna Clarke’s novel as I haven’t read it yet (so many books, so many of them to write!) but the author seems pleased. The next episode appears to focus…

TOA/V: Äppelkriget/The Apple War

A couple of news items: My piece on The Fall, originally written for the Spectator is now up at Medium. In fact, I have a few pieces showcased there now. The latest verses in my ongoing translation of the Viking poem Hávamál are up at the History Witch area of Witches & Pagans. Drop by…

History Witch: Anglo-Saxon Death

I think the impulse that defines an academic nature is that one responds to difficult moments by turning to the past to see how others have coped with similar times. So still reeling from unexpected grief, I turn to history as I contemplate the ways we deal with the inevitability of parting from those we…