In Defence of Witches

Why women are still on trial

Mona Chollet author Sophie R Lewis translator


Publisher:Pan Macmillan

Published:12th Jan '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

In Defence of Witches cover

A short, feminist polemic that argues that the afterlife of the witch hunts continues today: the same reasons for which women were demonized in the past - being single, ageing, deciding to not have children - lead to them be persecuted now.

A dynamic feminist polemic arguing that the aftermath of the witch hunts continues today: the same reasons for which women were demonized in the past – being single, ageing, deciding to not have children – lead to them be persecuted now.

'Intriguing' Sunday Times
'A rousing read' Irish Times
'A bright light of Francophone feminism' New York Times

Renowned journalist Mona Chollet recasts the witch as a powerful role model: an emblem of strength, free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women.

Taking three archetypes from historic witch hunts – independent women, women who avoid having children and women who embrace ageing – Chollet examines how women today have the same charges levelled against them. She calls for justice in healthcare, challenging the gender imbalance in science and questioning why female bodies åre still controlled by men.

Rich with popular culture, literary references and media insights, In Defence of Witches is a vital addition to the cultural conversation around women, witches and the misogyny that has shaped the world they live in.

With a foreword by Carmen Maria Machado and translated from French by Sophie R. Lewis.

A thought-provoking, discursive survey by Mona Chollet, a bright light of Francophone feminism . . . Chollet has emerged as a quiet revolutionary, pushing back against the clichés and the patriarchy that shapes them. -- Rachel Donadio * The New York Times *
What sets Chollet’s book apart is her aligning so clearly the historical mistreatment of so-called witches with the misogyny of the 21st century. The subtitle sums it up: why women are still on trial . . . a rousing read. -- Sarah Gilmartin * Irish Times *
Explores the worldview that the witch hunt has sought to promote - and its consequences on society today. * Vice *
Mona Chollet reminds us how an infamous label has become a symbol of women's resistance to male domination. * Le Monde *
[Mona Chollet] rehabilitates the figure of the witch, this dangerously independent, educated and strong woman. * Slate *
[Mona Chollet] dissects this figure from our history – and our imagination – and demonstrates how women today, those who free themselves from certain social norms, are in fact the direct heirs of those who were pursued, hunted, censored, eliminated during the Renaissance. * Huffington Post *
The term “witches” is still used today to caricature women of power, aging women or quite simply free women . . . Mona Chollet wonders about what remains today of the great witch hunts, that is to say the massacre of tens of thousands of women in Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries . . . [She] ends up convincing: the witch is a figure more fascinating and empowering than repulsive. * Libération *
What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women . . . Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way. * Télérama *
A smart feminist treatise reclaiming the witch and her radical way of life as a path forward for womem . . . Chollet’s informed and passionate treatment will appeal to readers looking for more substance amid the witch trend that’s otherwise been largely commodified and often scrubbed of its feminist origins * Booklist *

ISBN: 9781529034066

Dimensions: 198mm x 130mm x 20mm

Weight: 220g

304 pages