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400-year-old tale of witchcraft is the focus of new novel

6th March 2019

Michael Cawood Green, Professor in English and Creative Writing at Northumbria University, is preparing to celebrate the release of his new novel The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong, out next month.

The book is a historical novel, based on true events dating back to 1673. It tells the story of fourteen-year-old Anne Armstrong, who disappeared after making dramatic accusations of witchcraft against her neighbours in several remote villages in the Tyne Valley. This literary thriller follows a fictional historian who becomes obsessed with tracking down Anne, with the narrative raising questions which leave the reader intrigued throughout.

A fictionalised account of the testimony she gave before various Justices, the book is based on detailed depositions now in The National Archives. “The first time I came across Anne’s name was at the Wellington Hotel in Riding Mill, where I spotted a plaque devoted to her tale,” Michael said.

“It was all just so strange, and it felt like there was a lot left unanswered. I felt compelled to explore further so I began to research Anne’s history, and it was at that point that she took me down this incredible journey. Seven years on, and I’m still just as fascinated by her and her story.”

South African born Michael began the novel when he was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship to pursue the project. Alongside writing and his role at Northumbria he has been instrumental in winning funding bids to support Northumbria’s engagement with the creative industries.

He has been heavily involved with securing partnerships with New Writing North in support of the Northern Writers Awards, and various literary events in the North East.

The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong is published by Goldsmiths Press and released on 2 April – find out more here


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