There was a witch in my life as a teenager. She taught English, brought the three witches in Macbeth to life, and was shocked when I passed my O levels in English and English Literature! However, the kind of witches that Suzannah Lipscomb considers in this Ladybird Expert book are those mentioned in fiction (there always has to be a sensible grown-up).

Across the fifty pages of this wonderful little book, with its brilliant illustrations, the text is so engrossing and, as it is not my area of history, very informative. Dr Lipscomb breaks down some of the myths concerning witches in earlier times. Yes, ducking stools do get a mention, but you will have to find out whether they were a myth. Was Dan Brown correct in The Da Vinci Code?

Throughout history, witches have made an appearance when people are trying to define wrong doing or did not understand science as we know it today. The height of the fear of witches usually correlated with times of poor harvests, plague and war. This book teaches you or reminds you of something on every page.

A book of just fifty pages in which you can learn something new? Well, that would be a Ladybird expert book. This one on witchcraft is very informative. Suzannah Lipscomb knows how to get the facts across without boring you to tears, which makes this such an interesting and fun read.

Paul Diggett 5/1

Witchcraft: A Ladybird Expert Book by Suzannah Lipscomb
Michael Joseph 9780718188436 hbk Oct 2018