Will-o-the-Wisp Kindle º Paperback


10 thoughts on “Will-o-the-Wisp

  1. Pam Baddeley Pam Baddeley says:

    This is unusual among this author s books in being one of the few not set in the classical world of Greece Rome etc, although I have previously read a couple set in the middle ages The setting, of a pre English Civil War Devonshire countryside and Dartmoor, was promising and set up a clash between the puritan population and theearthy countrypeople who hark back to the reign of Good Queen Bess Elizabeth I with its pleasure loving delights As anticipated, given the author s usual views, he This is unusual among this author s books in being one of the few not set in the classical world of Greece Rome etc, although I have previously read a couple set in the middle ages The setting, of a pre English Civil War Devonshire countryside and Dartmoor, was promising and set up a clash between the puritan population and theearthy countrypeople who hark back to the reign of Good Queen Bess Elizabeth I with its pleasure loving delights As anticipated, given the author s usual views, he is firmly on the side of the latter and against the puritan viewpoint.Added to the mix were Gubbings, people dwelling on the moors and luring people to their deaths, a community who, it turns out, are in reality not only extreme Puritans but view spoiler the descendants of a race once winged who lost their power of flight through a disease and now have only vestigial wings and plumage that they must conceal lest they be thought witches hide spoiler The Gubbings now condemn any enjoyment in life, with the exception of a woman called Stella who once left to live in Exeter, married a sailor called Philip and had a daughter Aster, now nine years old A few years ago Philip died of the plague and so Stella and her daughter returned to the Gubbing community on Dartmoor where she survives precariously, being too Elizabethan , liking beautiful objects, such as her musical instrument, a predecessor of the clavicord, and pewter plates.The Gubbings have infiltrated the church community of the nearby village and view the poetry writing vicar Robert, known as Robin, with suspicion as he is also too Elizabethan for their tastes Meanwhile, the local apothecary, tells his son Nicholas to gain the vicar s confidence and spy on him with the intention of finding evidence of wrongdoing Nicholas, who has had to return from university in Cambridge due to a broken leg, likes Robin who becomes like an older brother to him The Gubbings then force matters to a head by luring the two men into their clutches.This had the potential to be an interesting and pleasant read, but some of the character development is entirely too amorphous and really doesn t go anywhere, for example, the conflicted character of Judith, Stella s childhood friend who is now jealous of her and leads the prosecution against Robin and ultimately Stella The biggest problem however were the repeated references on almost every page to the burning of witches which is instrumental in the climax Although the author s afterword credits some written sources for his 17th century background, and also explains that his vicar character and Stella are based on real life people of the era, he shares a common misconception that execution of witches in England was by burning a method used in Scotland and on the continent when in reality it was always by hanging This was a nasty enough means of execution since it predated the scientific reforms of the Victorians, and so the victims died by slow strangulation.I also found the kangeroo court that Nicholas father organises at the end very unconvincing the actual legal procedure was arbitrary enough that it wasn t necessary for him to suddenly appoint himself as a magistrate It also had the effect of undermining the role of Judith view spoiler especially as it transpires that Nicholas is adopted and his parents are also Gubbings as are other people in the vilage It would have madesense if they were not Gubbings, but instead were human as it is, it begs the question of why the Gubbings in the village are pursuing their own vendetta against Robin instead of teaming up with their colleagues on Dartmoor hide spoiler.The end could have beenconvincing if the villagers had instead decided to swim the witches instead of burning them especially in view of their intention to drown Aster in any case as this was a common test to see if the victim was innocent or not Such swimmings were often done spontaneously by a community without resorting to the law As it was, I found it so annoying to read on just about every page references to witch burning that I can only award this 3 stars I would also add that the cover of this edition is totally unrelated to the novel no giant insects or scantily clad women appear in the book although there are some references to bosoms etc


  2. Tim Martin Tim Martin says:

    This was an odd book to be sure I thought it might be trippy, as it was published in 1976 during a time of some rather trippy books, sporting a nude woman on the cover riding a giant beetle of some sort, with me reading it in hopes of seeing a will o the wisp, something not often encountered in books at least by me It was trippy, but not in the way I thought it might be Essentially, the author wrote about a real historical figure, Robert Herrick, a man also going by the name Robin, a real l This was an odd book to be sure I thought it might be trippy, as it was published in 1976 during a time of some rather trippy books, sporting a nude woman on the cover riding a giant beetle of some sort, with me reading it in hopes of seeing a will o the wisp, something not often encountered in books at least by me It was trippy, but not in the way I thought it might be Essentially, the author wrote about a real historical figure, Robert Herrick, a man also going by the name Robin, a real life poet, vicar, and according to the author pagan who lived in Devonshire, England in the early 17th century early in the book the Spanish Armada was said to be 42 years ago, and memories of Queen Elizabeth are still quite fresh The story shows how he meets what would become his secret wife sorry if that is a spoiler, as it kind of is , also apparently a real life person known to history as Prudence Baldwin, a woman according to the author officially Robert s maid but widely suspected to be his lover as well I had not heard of Robert Herrick before reading this book, though a quick search online showed I should have, as he was well known as the author of the poem To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time , with the first line Gather ye rosebuds while ye may one I have heard in school Fictional characters were added to the story, such as Robin s young friend Nicholas who began the book as a student at Cambridge but early on has to leave the university owing to a broken and poorly set leg and the young girl Aster, daughter to the woman Stella, and that was quite understandable If left at that, it could have been a simple romance and relatively light on action tale of forbidden love, acceptance, and oh avoiding being burned at the stake as a witch very much a thing in this setting and quite relevant to the story , as the four main characters Robert, Stella, Aster, and Nicholas deal with among other things accusations of witchcraft and the divisions between Anglican, Catholic, and Puritan English neighbors divisions soon to boil over in the English Civil War though that is outside the scope of the book Only it is not just romance and avoiding being burnt alive, as it is a fantasy tale In addition to divisions between the different Christian sects, the people of Nicholas and Robert s village fear a strange group of people out on the Devon moors, a group of people called the Gubbings, people feared to worship the devil or at least consort with him, a frightening people who live in a land where will o wisps haunt the night, luring unwary villagers and travelers to their doom Though one might think the villagers would burn every last Gubbing at the stake as a witch or at least drown or hang them , they are afraid of the Gubbings and avoid the moors at all costs At first it is revealed that the Gubbings seem to be pulling a Scooby Doo villain trick, making the outside world think they are dangerous monsters so they can be left alone, and are really Puritanical Puritans who shun the outside world, only it is a set of Russian dolls, as the Gubbings really are not human at all under another layer of deception and what sthey aren t just in the grubby Gubbing village on the moors but apparently in Nicholas and Robert s village I don t know if this enters spoiler territory or not, so I won t discuss what they are, but they are definitely something different It read quickly, there were some good descriptions, I liked how the author interspersed some of the actual poetry of the real Robert Herrick in the book this is mentioned at the very end of the book , and how at one point Robert has to have a Trial by Rhyme perhaps a very, very early version of a battle rap The cover art, though irrelevant to the book, is gorgeous and eye catching What the Gubbings are was interesting and unique, and I liked a fantasy novel that was fairly light on violence for once Oh and Stella and Aster had a pet bear named Artor and Robert had a pet pig named Caligula , so there was that On the negative side of the equation, there wasn t really a great deal of plot at times, with basically the book easily summed up in a few sentences There seemed to be a bit of headhopping or something akin to it as the point of view could suddenly switch at times Aster was described as precocious I think she was nine and very intelligent, but I found her a bit annoying and kind of creepy, obsessed with marriage, though people did marry young back then I thought the character Nicholas was set up to be a major character in the opening chapters but sort of fell away to being sort of a McGuffin if that and didn t drive much in the way of any action, the story instead revolving around Stella, Robert, and the head of the Gubbings and Stella s former friend, a woman by the name of Judith though at the very end Judith falls away as driving force as well There was a lot of mention of breasts early on in the book I counted 7 different pages where it was referenced for a sentence or two in the first 70 pages , but this is perhaps understandable in a book about an era with some sexual repression thanks Puritans , partially from the point of a view of a shy virgin hello Nicholas , and in a book with a topless woman on the cover Fortunately, once the tale gets going the breast references pretty much fall away they were never offensive, just noticeable Some of the views of a wife as a Scold or a Nag might be offensive, but I think they could be seen as Robert s own personal point of view, not a general comment on women or wives as it is mentioned that Robert, as a vicar, often sees and hears the worst about marriages It was a quick, weird read, certainly not bad writing just not a particularly gripping plot


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Will-o-the-Wisp ❴PDF / Epub❵ ✅ Will-o-the-Wisp Author Thomas Burnett Swann – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Will o the wisp the light that danced across the Devon Moors enticing the good puritan people to death and devilmentFor up on the tors dwelt the infamous Gubbings who crucified their victims, murdered Will o the wisp the light that danced across the Devon Moors enticing the good puritan people to death and devilmentFor up on the tors dwelt the infamous Gubbings who crucified their victims, murdered and bewitchedWere they really warlocks, or were they creatures of fantasy from another time, another planet Robert Herrick, poet, vicar and pagan, the golden giant with a lusty heart, dared to brave the moors and challenge the ancient mythCover artist Chris Achilleos.

    Will-o-the-Wisp Kindle º Paperback and challenge the ancient mythCover artist Chris Achilleos."/>
  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • Will-o-the-Wisp
  • Thomas Burnett Swann
  • English
  • 06 December 2019
  • 0552103586

About the Author: Thomas Burnett Swann

Thomas Burnett Swann was best known as the author of numerous fantasies published in the s and s Many of his bucolic tales were set in the Ancient World and populated by mythic creatures His best known works include the novel DAY OF THE MINOTAUR and the shorter works Where Is the Bird of Fire and The Manor of Roses, all nominated for Hugo Awards Swann was also a poet, professor, and literary critic.