Pendle Witch daughter's tale Malkin Child is county's bestseller

SPELLBINDING Author Livi Michael and her book ‘Malkin Child’

SPELLBINDING Author Livi Michael and her book ‘Malkin Child’

First published in Pendle

A DRAMATIC tale of a Pendle Witch’s daughter has been named as the county library service’s favoured read for 2012.

Malkin Child, by Livi Michael, recounts the story of Jennet Device, the girl who testified against her own mother Elizabeth during the 17th century witch trials.

And library chiefs have named the tale as their Lancashire Read 2012, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the saga.

A library service spokesman said: “It was Livi’s ability to bring the history and landscape of the region to life that led to us approaching her about this project. She has written several award-winning books with a local and historical theme.”

Jennet told trial judges that her mother had a ‘familiar’, a dog called Ball, who helped her to plan out the murders of James Robinson, John Robinson and, alongside Alice Nutter and her mother Elizabeth Southern (known as Demdike), the killing of Henry Mitton.

Jennet’s evidence also helped to convict her brother James, with her recalling how he conjured up a ‘black dog’ to conspire with him.

Her grandmother Demdike and sister, Alizon Device, were also among those hanged at Lancaster Castle in August 1612.

Michael’s account, which was made available early through county libraries, is relayed through the eyes of Jennet herself.

Writing about the book, fellow author Jacqueline Wilson said: “Malkin Child is an absolutely riveting read, so original and imaginative. It’s a novel about witchcraft that casts its own particularly powerful spell.”

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