The Witch

by Mary Johnston

In this important new novel, Miss Johnston goes back to the field of some of her earlier successes -- the spacious Elizabethan times. The story opens in the death chamber of the great Queen, and with that uncanny power of historic resurrection of which Miss Johnston is master, the reader is made to feel the great issues that are hanging in the balance, -- issues of thought and faith within England itself, issues of imperialistic destiny in the great colonies overseas.The two chief characters are Joan Heron, a beautiful girl of strong, original nature, and Dr. Aderhold, a thinker in advance of his time. As the plot develops, not only is Aderhold suspected of atheism and unholy practices in the black art, but Joan is accused of witchcraft. They are arrested, and sentenced to death, but escape, and take ship for Virginia. As the voyage progresses, her sex and identity are suspected, and she and Aderhold are cast adrift in an open boat. This catastrophe, however, is not final, and in the Bahamas and later in England, the story comes to its impressive ending.As a historic picture, the story is exceptionally strong, and perhaps the impression that will live longest is that of the marvelous Elizabethan world of adventure, controversy, passion, and vital personality.

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