'hatcht up in villanie and witchcraft':fictional and historical recuperations of the witch child

Buckley, Chloe Alexandra Germaine (2014) 'hatcht up in villanie and witchcraft':fictional and historical recuperations of the witch child. Preternature, 3 (1).

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Abstract

The witch child manifests at the intersection of history and fiction, revealing as uncanny our desire to know a ‘real’ child. This paper explores representations of the witch child in BBC 4’s 2011 documentary, The Pendle Witch Child, and Joseph Delaney’s fantasy fiction series, The Wardstone Chronicles, to argue that recent representations of witch children that attempt to ‘recuperate’ the image of the innocent-child-as-victim are destabilised by the uncanny presence of a witch child who resists this recuperation. The desire to know a real, historical child operates within a binary construction, oscillating between desire for the Romantic innocent and fear of the self-possessed child of gothic horror. The uncanny witch child that emerges from this conflict is finally embraced only by Fantasy, whose disregard for historical truth and veracity allows space for the construction of childhood to inhabit a multiplicity of possibilities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Preternature
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > English & Creative Writing
ID Code: 65544
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 08 Jul 2013 11:55
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2019 23:57
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/65544

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