So, I’m just finishing off reading Sidonia the Sorceress, more on that in the next post. But on the train this morning I just realised this connection in timing.
Sidonia was published in German in 1848, with the famous English translation, by the future Lady Wilde, which became so popular amongst the Pre Raphaelite group being published in 1849. Sidonia is a novel, based on true accounts, of a noble born woman being caught up in the witch hunt frenzy of the early 1600s, eventually being executed for witchcraft.
The same year Harrison Ainsworth wrote The Lancashire Witches which was initially published in serial form in 1848 and as a full novel in1849. This too is a novel based on the well known story of the Pendle witches, in which Alice Nutter, whilst not noble, but certainly of a higher class than the type normally accused of witchcraft, was arrested and executed for witchcraft.
Given the dates I’m not sure whether one could possibly have been influenced by the other, but there must have been something in the air that year.
Are there any other novels on witches from the same period ?