From 1563 to 1736 Scotland put thousands of women to death for witchcraft. Their supposed crimes have much to tell us about attitudes to women in the past, and in the present day. The book introduces sixteen women who lost their lives or lived in the long shadow of the persecutions. ‘Witches’ like MARGARET AITKEN, who confessed, implicated others, and even aided the hunters before they were burned. Nonconforming women like MARY MACLEOD, who saw their reputations traduced when they did not bend to society’s expectations. Creatures of the imagination, like Robert Burns’s NANNY, who embody deep-seated associations between womanhood and the occult.
Weaving fiction with the facts where known, we imagine these women, not as victims but as fascinating individuals whose experience have been omitted from Scotland’s history.