An elephant crossed the valley
Stow CC ISBN: 9781527262041
As Scotland has grown from a sparsely populated land of local tribes to an international country with connections across the globe so the valley has evolved from part of the land of the Votadini tribe to a modern community with residents from around the world. A small valley in a small country but with a big heart and an even bigger history: this is the story of the Wedale Valley.
The Borders Witch Hunt
Luath Press ISBN: 9781913025557
An exploration of the witchcraft trials of the 17th century in the Scottish Borders. Who were the accused, who were the accusers and why did an initial accusation almost always end in execution? And what was happening in the 17th century that led to those accusation in the first place.
A good read, written with passion. A good book to start the subject with, rather than a dry scholarly book. It deals with the main drivers of the witch trials in the borders and ties up different themes to give an overall opinion of the causes.
A Tangled Web: Mata Hari: Dancer, Courtesan
The History Press, ISBN-13: 978-0750968195
The story of the great Mata Hari, she seduced men, she scandalised the middle classes but was she also a spy? This book traced her childhood in the Netherlands through a tumultouos marriage and life in the east to a risque career as a dancer in France before the Great War broke out and Mata Hari found hersef embroiled in the murky world of espionage.
‘New book reveals the truth behind the incredible life of most famous female spy in history.’ Sunday Mail
Beside the Annexe
Scaramouche Press, ISBN 979-8673041697
July 1942, Anne Frank and her family and friends go into hiding in a secret annexe. But what about those still living in Amsterdam; the pastor who was losing his faith, the café owner with no customers, the doctor who couldn’t treat his patients? Living and working alongside that annexe; how would they survive? While German soldiers stalked the streets confident in their victory, countless people suffered. All normality ripped away, human decency a thing of the past, the occupation put everyone to the test. Some became heroes, some cowards; most simply struggled in the daily fight to ‘make it through.’ None would emerge unscathed.
I loved this book – the annexe where the Franks hid becomes alive in so many way with the characters in Ms Craig’s novel. She draws you into their lives so even the ones you don’t like so much intrigue you and you want to know what happens to all of them. A great read!
‘The Bewitching of Sir George Maxwell of Pollock’, Scottish Local History, Issue 81, pp. 3-7, (August 2011) https://www.slhf.org/publication/issue-81
‘Erzsébet Báthory’, Saunière Society Journal, Volume7 No 13, (Winter 2019)
‘Kaspar Hauser and the politics of Metternich’ in Society Journal, Volume 8 No 14, (Summer 2020)