The Daylight Gate
By Jeanette Winterson
(Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802121639, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $24.00*
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Set in seventeenth-century England during the reign of James Ithe monarch who wrote his own book on witchcraftThe Daylight Gate is best-selling writer Jeanette Winterson’s re-creation of a dark history full of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power.
This is a world where to be Catholic is a treasonable offense. A world where England's king vows to rid his country of witchery popery popery witchery” and condemns the High Mass and Black Mass as heresies punishable by torture, hanging, and burning.
Winterson's literary suspense tale takes us deep into a brutal period of English history, centered on the notorious 1612 Pendle witch trialsan infection of paranoia that crossed the ocean with the Pilgrims and set the scene for the Salem witch hunt.
Good Friday, 1612. Pendle Forest. A gathering of thirteen is interrupted by local magistrate Roger Nowell. Is this a coven or a helpless group of women trying to save their family from the stake? Already two stand accused of witchcraft. The wealthy, respected Alice Nutter tries to defend them, haunted by her own past entanglement with magick. She doesn’t believe in the Devil, but as she fights for justice, her life is endangered by forces visible and invisible.
Alan Cheuse reviews Jeanette Winterson's latest book, The Daylight Gate, set in 17th Century England. The novel is set seven years after the undoing of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, in which Catholic terrorists attempted to blow up the House of Parliament of the anti-Papist King James I. More at NPR.org
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