Allyson Shaw has built a monument in words to the thousands persecuted as witches in Scotland. A fascinating and necessary book.
In Ashes and Stone Shaw has written a compelling and intimate pilgrimage across Scotland as she visits the sites of notorious witch trials to connect with and comment on the memorials left there to the murdered people who perished through greed, misogyny, and superstition . . . The book is a fascinating exploration of the search for personal identity, the ever-present dangers of religious and political extremism, and how we examine and process the murderous injustices from our past
Beautiful . . . A moving reminder for us all to connect with what's gone before
Wonderful . . . Powerful . . . it will make you angry, it will make you sad, it will make you want to know so much more
Sometimes the truth behind myths and legends is more fascinating and terrible than could ever be imagined . . . Ashes & Stones is its own reminder of a dark period in Scotland's past, but also carries a warning for the present day . . . This is not the book you think it is, and it is all the better for it
Allyson Shaw's journey around Scotland in search of witches and witness is both deeply insightful and profoundly respectful. Shaw's writing is utterly compelling and her perspective is vital. I was spellbound from start to finish, Ashes & Stones is a work of devotion. This is what it means to write with care and with candour. Ashes & Stones is both genuine memorial and galvanising activism in book form
Very atmospheric, scholarly - and gripping . . . [Shaw] gives life to many of the women burned as witches in Scotland. Shocking and important - it made me realise this hasn't been done before, nor have I questioned why until now. Recommended.
The past is a treacherous landscape shrouded in the mists of myth and misogyny, and Shaw is the sun burning through to reveal clear paths and daunting vistas alike. Profound, personal, and tragically timely, this is more than an important book - it's a requiem that rises to a rallying cry
An incantational group biography infused with personal narrative . . . Shaw pays homage to the hunted while elevating modern self-identified witches as feminist archetypes