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Ashes and Stones: A Scottish Journey in Search of Witches and Witness

Allyson Shaw

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Scotland, Memoirs, British & Irish history, Witchcraft, Gender studies: women

A beautifully written journey through Scottish history and across the Scottish landscape in search of the women accused and killed during the witch hunts

'Beautiful... A moving reminder for us all to connect with what's gone before' STYLIST

'Atmospheric, scholarly - and gripping . . . Shocking and important' Laline Paull, author of Pod

Roaming the ragged coasts and remote villages of Scotland, Ashes & Stones takes us on a moving journey in search of those women accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. From fairy hills to hedge mazes, we follow the traces their stories have left on the landscape.

By linking the lives of contemporary women to the horrors of the past, Allyson Shaw creates a powerful record of resilience and remembrance, untangling the myth of witchcraft and giving voice to those erased by it.

'Allyson Shaw has built a monument in words to the thousands persecuted as witches in Scotland. A fascinating and necessary book' Peter Ross, author of A Tomb With a View

'Deeply insightful and profoundly respectful . . . I was spellbound from start to finish' Sally Huband, author of Sea Bean

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Praise for Ashes and Stones: A Scottish Journey in Search of Witches and Witness

  • A compelling and intimate pilgrimage across Scotland . . . The book is a fascinating exploration of the search for personal identity, the ever-present dangers of religious and political extremism, and how we examine and process the murderous injustices from our past

  • Deeply insightful and profoundly respectful. Shaw's writing is utterly compelling and her perspective is vital. I was spellbound from start to finish, Ashes & Stones is a work of devotion. This is what it means to write with care and with candour. Ashes & Stones is both genuine memorial and galvanising activism in book form

  • Very atmospheric, scholarly - and gripping . . . [Shaw] gives life to many of the women burned as witches in Scotland. Shocking and important - it made me realise this hasn't been done before, nor have I questioned why until now. Recommended.

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Allyson Shaw

Allyson Shaw has worked as a professional writer for the last thirty years. Her writing on folklore and history has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman in the Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series, Rituals and Declarations and The Bottle Imp. She spent her formative years in California and now lives on the northeast coast of Scotland. Find her online at

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