The White Witch is a story set at the time of the beginning of the English Civil War and the men and women drawn into it on both sides. Robert Haslewood, the local squire turns puritan and follows his boyhood hero to war leaving his children and wife behind him. His cousin Froniga, half gypsy and the White Witch of the title, a wise woman with the ...Read MoreThe White Witch is a story set at the time of the beginning of the English Civil War and the men and women drawn into it on both sides. Robert Haslewood, the local squire turns puritan and follows his boyhood hero to war leaving his children and wife behind him. His cousin Froniga, half gypsy and the White Witch of the title, a wise woman with the power of healing lives in danger. Her gypsy cousins sometimes camp near her but will always move on. They have befriended Yomen, who conceals a grand past but is now a tinker and royalist spy. He loves the puritan Froniga. A journey man painter, Francis, delights in painting the Haslewood children while spying too for the royalist cause. Their lives entwine until the bloodiness of war forces them to be loyal to their side whatever their personal ties, threatening to destroy friendships and humanity and kindness in the process.Read Less
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Good. No Dustjacket. 1967. 407 pages. Good to fair condition paperback; as expected for age. Cards, pages, and binding are presentable with no major defects. Minor issues may exist such as shelf wear, inscriptions, light to moderate foxing and tanning.
Set during the English war between Royalists and Parliamentarians, this well-researched novel features strong, memorable characters, notably the white witch herself, whose mixed heritage (gypsy and English) makes her an outsider but whose healing skill wins her respect and admiration. Other main characters include a Catholic priest in disguise, a Royalist spy, and a valiant little girl who will grow up to be as strong and wise a woman as her aunt, the witch. There are several intertwined plots, all played out against the background of the civil war. The story is well-paced and well-written, and if you don't know much about that particular war, you will learn!
Mar 12, 2009
Elizabeth Goudge was all about love, every kind of love: romantic, divine, familial, love of humanity, love of place.
She not only shares these many loves -each delineated and unique - with her readers, her stories also demonstrate the pre-eminence of love better than any I know of.
Goudge's characters, language and images emit light, and the world through her eyes is clear, colorful, and shining.
The White Witch is particularly serious, as civil war tears England apart, but this dark time is illuminated by engaging, memorable individuals: the title character, a strong-willed herbalist, and the two men she loves (a minister swayed by the Puritanical movement and a mysterious gypsy at cross purposes), a wise little girl, a wandering painter, and others who struggle and finally always choose rightly.
Goudge guides us to a place of acceptance where there's sorrow, and conveys much joy through-out.
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