Back to home page - News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

not-for-profit - a workers'co-op - committed to social justice | 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - 0151 708 7270

A Welsh Witch: A Romance of Rough Places

by Allen Raine - £10.99  Honno Ltd (2013)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781906784652 | ISBN 10: 1906784655

They say she's a real witch,' says Goronwy Hughes' grandmother, warning him of Catrin Rees, the heroine of A Welsh Witch: 'Don't speak to her or let her eyes fall upon thee.'
The sea-side village of Treswnd has elected Catrin as its scapegoat, shunning and stoning her as a witch. In bitter isolation Catrin internalises the idea of herself as damned and outcast, but her loneliness is eased by a growing friendship with Goronwy, to whom she starts to reveal the hidden wonders of the natural world with which she has become familiar. In particular she is well-acquainted with the underground waterways of the 'Deep Stream' lying beneath Treswnd, a zone of darkness bestrewn with wrecks and human skeletons.
Goronwy does not fully appreciate her strength until later, when he has become a collier in the south Wales mining belt and a pit disaster leaves him trapped for days underground. 'Alone with the dead, the dying, and the frenzied around him,' Goronwy was then 'brought face to face with the deep mysteries of life.'
But Catrin had from childhood known of that darkness at the core of life. The underground water channels of the 'Deep Stream' and the deep tunnels of the coal mines function in A Welsh Witch as tropes of the unconscious, with its characteristic preoccupation with death and mutability. If that darkness can courageously be faced, however, it strengthens the human character rather than destroys it.
First published in 1902, A Welsh Witch, in its paralleling of rural communities with their lingering superstitions and early industrial communities with their harsh working conditions, explores the ways in which human resilience and empathy can make 'a romance of rough places'.

(Price & availability last checked: September 2019)

This website can't tell you if we have this book in the shop or not - to ask, phone us or use the enquiry link below. (We can order most books within 7-10 days, subject to availability.)

In booklists: Fiction - Welsh Writers (and novels set in Wales), Spiritual & Inspirational Fiction and Poetry,
In categories: Fiction, Ireland, Scotland & Wales,

© News From Nowhere Co-operative Ltd IP24524R 2004-2024 | Privacy policy | Contact | return to top of page