Hysterical outbursts: Bewitched, by Jill Dawson, reviewed

‘Witch-hunt’ has become a handy metaphor for online persecutions, especially of women, though these days it is reputations that go up in flames rather than bodies. The mob mentality behind the phenomenon may not have changed as much as the medium or the mindset. In retelling a celebrated case from Elizabethan England, Jill Dawson enters thoroughly into her characters’ religious world view, while giving a meaningful glance at the issues of today. The fate of the Warboys witches – three members of one family – was recounted in prurient pamphlets of the time, but Dawson colours in the crude woodcut of history with passionate emotions and plausible motivations. As she