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Royal Witches Book Talk

What better time of year to hear about witchcraft at Leeds Castle? A new book entitled ‘Royal Witches’ by Gemma Hollman is being launched on 1st October. We are delighted that she will be joining us in the Maiden’s Tower on Castle Island to talk about Joan of Navarre who owned the Castle in the 1400s and was accused of witchcraft by Henry V, her own stepson.

Until the mass hysteria of the seventeenth century, accusations of witchcraft in England were rare. However, four royal women, related in family and in court ties – Joan of Navarre, Eleanor Cobham, Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Elizabeth Woodville – were accused of practising witchcraft in order to kill or influence the King. Joan was one of these royal women accused of practising the dark arts, and it would appear that the purpose of the accusations was purely for political purposes. In Royal Witches, Gemma Hollman explores the lives and the cases of these so-called witches at a time when the lines between science and magic were blurred. The trial of Joan of Navarre and the others offer a tantalising insight into how accusations of malicious magic would be used and cause such panic in centuries to come.

Maiden's Tower at 12pm

  Included with the price of admission. Swan Icon

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