Ashes and Stones

A Scottish Journey in Search of Witches and Witness

Allyson Shaw author


Publisher:Hodder & Stoughton

Published:19th Jan '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Ashes and Stones cover

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

A moving and personal journey, along rugged coasts and through remote villages and cities, in search of the traces of those accused of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Scotland.

In Ashes and Stones we visit modern memorials and standing stones, and roam among forests and hedge mazes, folklore and political fantasies. From fairy hills to forgotten caves, we explore a spellbound landscape.

Allyson Shaw untangles the myth of witchcraft and gives voice to those erased by it. Her elegant and lucid prose weaves together threads of history and feminist reclamation to create a vibrant memorial. This is the untold story of the witches' monuments of Scotland and the women's lives they mark. Ashes and Stones is a trove of folklore linking the lives of contemporary women to the horrors of the past, a record of resilience and a call to choose and remember our ancestors.

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

'A compelling and intimate pilgrimage across Scotland' Helen Callaghan

Allyson Shaw has built a monument in words to the thousands persecuted as witches in Scotland. A fascinating and necessary book. -- Peter Ross
In Ashes and Stone Shaw has written a compelling and intimate pilgrimage across Scotland as she visits the sites of notorious witch trials to connect with and comment on the memorials left there to the murdered people who perished through greed, misogyny, and superstition . . . 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 -- Helen Callaghan
An incantational group biography infused with personal narrative . . . Shaw pays homage to the hunted while elevating modern self-identified witches as feminist archetypes -- Abigail Santamaria * New York Times *
Beautiful . . . A moving reminder for us all to connect with what's gone before * Stylist *
Wonderful . . . Powerful . . . it will make you angry, it will make you sad, it will make you want to know so much more * The Scots Whay Hae! Show *
Sometimes the truth behind myths and legends is more fascinating and terrible than could ever be imagined . . . Ashes & Stones is its own reminder of a dark period in Scotland's past, but also carries a warning for the present day . . . This is not the book you think it is, and it is all the better for it * Snack *
Allyson Shaw's journey around Scotland in search of witches and witness is both 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 -- Sally Huband, author of Sea Bean
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. -- Laline Paull
The past is a treacherous landscape shrouded in the mists of myth and misogyny, and Shaw is the sun burning through to reveal clear paths and daunting vistas alike. Profound, personal, and tragically timely, this is more than an important book - it's a requiem that rises to a rallying cry -- Jesse Bullington, author of The Folly of the World

ISBN: 9781529395457

Dimensions: 220mm x 144mm x 30mm

Weight: 417g

304 pages