A moving and personal journey, along rugged coasts and through remote villages and cities, in search of the traces of those accused of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Scotland.
'It's summer. I stand where perhaps Ellen stood, in this ground thick with new thistle and long grass. She would have kenned this coast in all weathers: in the summer when it was as gentle as a lake and in the winter, with the high winds and stinging salt spray.'
In Ashes and Stones we visit modern memorials and standing stones, and roam among forests and hedge mazes, folklore and political fantasies. From fairy hills to forgotten caves, we explore a spellbound landscape.
Allyson Shaw untangles the myth of witchcraft and gives voice to those erased by it. Her elegant and lucid prose weaves together threads of history and feminist reclamation to create a vibrant memorial. This is the untold story of the witches' monuments of Scotland and the women's lives they mark. Ashes and Stones is a trove of folklore linking the lives of contemporary women to the horrors of the past, a record of resilience and a call to choose and remember our ancestors.