Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Thursday 20 January 2022

Meet the Author – with Beth Underdown

‘The Witchfinder’s Sister’

Meet the Author – with Beth Underdown

6.30pm Friday 31st March

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Tickets £3

(Includes glass of wine/soft drink)

To book drop in or call 01206 824050

Join us with the author of ‘The Witchfinder’s Sister’, a powerful re-imagining of the terror of the 1640s witch-hunts voiced by Matthew Hopkin’s sibling Alice.

Based on a true story, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Miniaturist and Burial Rites.

About the Book

‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Based on the true story of the man known as the Witchfinder General, this exquisitely rendered novel transports you to a time and place almost unimaginable, where survival might mean betraying those closest to you, and danger lurks outside every door.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

About the Author

Beth Underdown

Beth Underdown lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.

Her first novel, The Witchfinder’s Sister, is based on the life of the 1640s witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. Beth’s interest in seventeenth-century England was sparked by the work of her great-uncle David Underdown, one of that period’s foremost historians.

She came across a brief mention of Matthew Hopkins while reading a book about midwifery, igniting an interest which turned into an all-consuming hunt for the elusive truth about this infamous killer.

Praise for ‘The Witchfinder’s Sister’

‘A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction…what elevates this book above other historical thrillers are the questions that Underdown asks about the nature of power, fear and how easy it is to become complicit in terrible acts’ The Times

‘At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller’ Patrick Gale

‘A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel’ Ian McGuire, author of The North Water

‘Vivid and terrifying’ Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train