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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 July 2006
I first read this book when I was 14 years old, during the school holidays; which means that it was 51 years ago.I think it is a fabulous book and I am reading it again at this present time.It is one of only two books that I have read again and again during my life-time, the other one being Wuthering Heights!

Robert Neill captivates his audience from page one. I travelled with Margery from London in the cart. I was by her side when she first met Roger Nowell at the Inn in Preston and I have remained with her ever since,roaming dear old Pendle Hill, riding through the Forest, visiting Marton at Christmas,helping Christopher Southworth to escape;trembling in my shoes when having to face 'dear Alice Nutter.

The author knows his territory well. I could wish I knew the author as well. Little is known ,if anything at all about Robert Neill, at least from my point of view I don't know anything at all about him, or maybe it's a her!Maybe someone who knows could write in and let us know.

For the people who live in the shadow of Pendle, as I do, mist over Pendle is as good as a guide book and who but North Country folk would know that Daylight Gate is twilight time.

Robert Neill has held my attention for more than fifty years, with Margery, Grace, Tony Nutter, priests and papists.With Demdike, Chattox,Squinting Lizzie, our Alice and the long-winded parsons. Yes, I certainly recommend that every-one should have a copy of Mist over Pendle by Robert Neill.When I look up from writing this re-view Ilook staight out over Pendle, lovely old Pendle, my Pendle.
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on 22 November 2008
Robert Neill is a wonderful writer. Sadly, most if not all of his works are now out of print, and disappearing from public libraries due to wear and tear.

In this novel, Neill offers us an insight into the society and mindset of the early Stuart period. Meticulously researched, it is nonetheless a gripping tale. Neill shows us flawed humanity, but, wherever possible, with warmth and compassion.

I do wish all his books could be reprinted: this one deserves to be adapted as a television drama.
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on 10 April 2008
This is my overall favourite book. I used to loan it from the library but now own my own copy which I re-read every year or so. It has romance, suspense, action and history, everything you could want.
I particularly like the section on Christmas. Wouldn't it be great if we celebrated Christmas with twelve days of partying like that now instead of it all being over after one day. Margery (the only fictional character) is also very likeable.

I agree it would make a wonderful film and I am surprised it has not already been made. Any film producers out there?
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on 17 August 2007
I first read this book as a young teenager, some 35 years ago. I was enchanted by the book and remembered it always, as one of my favorite reads. I remembered the title of the book ("The Elegant Witch", here in America) and some small details like the syllabub--a dessert I'd never heard of before--but little else. As an adult, I sought to find the book in local libraries, but was told that it was out of print. Saddened by that fact, I gave up on ever finding the book again.

Fast forward to many years later, I discovered Amazon rare books and paid less than seven dollars, including shipping, for a used copy. What a wonderful investment! I am so thrilled to have been reacquainted with my old favorite! This book is an historical treat and a well written, richly told story. I particularly liked the deft character portrayal and the way the author transports the reader to the haunting time and place of early 17th century Pendle Hill. My only complaint is the abrupt ending. I would have preferred the book to go on to twice its length.

I feel as though I've been reunited with a long lost friend.
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on 10 December 2008
A tremendously evocative book, both of time and place. The author really knows how to capture the flavour of the early 17th century and he has woven an intelligent and very credible story around actual events. The amount of research that has gone into this book is astonishing. The quality of writing is superb and the characterisation so real that you feel you know the people described. This was a time of cruelty and hard justice. A magistrate thought nothing of ordering a witness to be whipped to make her change her story. Another gentleman made a suspected witch trot all the way from Lancaster to Pendle while her hands were tied to the saddle of a horse. Yet there is also humanity in the story and a very likeable protagonist in Margery Whitaker, who arrives at Pendle a headstrong and naive girl and quickly becomes a tower of strength to her benefactor, Roger Nowell. One tip: it might be as well to have a pad and pen at your side, as there are so many characters that it sometimes becomes difficult to remember who is related to whom and in what way.
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on 14 June 2000
My mother won this as a school prize in 1951. I have read it so many times it has dropped to bits. This story would make an excellent film if modern types would resist the urge to make it politically correct. I am ecstatic to find a copy in print, as it has never (to my knowledge) been printed here in America.
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on 4 December 2002
This book is all the more interesting for it's basis in fact. the Pendle Witches did exist, and were probably just how they are described in this story. The heroine, Margery, holds our interest from the start, as she is intelligent, lively and courageous. On coming to Pendle, she is immediately faced with the fact of suspected witchcraft in the local community and the muddy undercurrents of malice and hatred which pervade the apparently quiet and peaceful countryside. The story follows Margery's involvment in all that follows ending in the bringing to justice of the witches. All the characters in this story are very well drawn and the flavour of the period comes across very strongly. I have read this book so often that my first copy fell to pieces and I had to buy another!
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on 12 March 2011
The 'Mist over Pendle' book recently purchashed has had certain passages altered and even deleted from the original publication. This book is not the same atmospheric read as the original.
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on 25 January 2012
Am I the only person still alive who remembers Robert Neill? At 75 this kind of thing is happening to me lately!

When I was a schoolgirl in Blackburn (early 1950s) I went to a book-signing /promotion launching Mist Over Pendle. Robert Neill was definitely a man, late thirties-ish, tall, smartly turned-out and generally looking a bit like a solicitor. He was quietly spoken, rather self-effacing and pleasant. The hall, in Limbrick where we met, no longer exists I believe, having been demolished to make way for the new road network.
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on 2 March 2002
In the 17th Century, Margery, moved from her home in London to the 'unsophisticated' but beautiful people and hills of the North.
A strong tale of prejudice, religious repression, fear yet fair justice; one wonders whether these 'bewitched' people were really bad or just simple and misunderstood.
In a move similar to that of Margery's, but in the opposite direction, I moved from Pendle to London over twenty years ago. I read this book each year and it's a piece of home on my bookshelf.
I've given the book to my children, my partner and friends all over the world. They too have fallen in love with the mystery of North East Lancashire.
Strangely the story always seems new to me, I devour it with relish, savour the siren call of Pendle Hill and dream of my childhood.
Heaven !
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