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The Last Witch of Scotland
The Last Witch of Scotland

The Last Witch of Scotland

A bewitching story based on true events



352 Pages, 7.4 x 8.95

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.99 (US $16.99) (CA $22.99)

Publication Date: June 2024

ISBN 9781785305245

Rights: US & CA

Black & White Publishing (Jun 2024)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: June 2024


Inspired by the true story of the last person to be tried and executed as a witch in the British Isles, The Last Witch of Scotland reimagines how Janet Horne came to be accused of witchcraft.

'Compelling, evocative, heart-wrenching and beautifully written. Highly recommended.' - Fiona Valpy, author, The Dressmaker's Gift

Being a woman was her only crime.

Scottish Highlands, 1727.

In the aftermath of a tragic fire that kills her father, Aila and her mother, Janet, move to the remote parish of Loth, north-west of Inverness. Blending in does not come easily to the women: Aila was badly burned in the fire and left with visible injuries, while her mother struggles to maintain her grip on reality. When a temporary minister is appointed in the area, rather than welcome the two women, he develops a strange curiosity for them that sets them even further apart from the community.

Then arrives a motley troupe of traveling entertainers from Edinburgh, led by the charismatic but mysterious Jack. It is just the distraction Janet, and particularly Aila, needs: for the first time in a long while, their lives are filling with joy and friendship, and a kind of hope Aila hasn't known since her father's death. But in this small community, faith is more powerful than truth, and whispers more dangerous even than fire.

Haunting and deeply moving, The Last Witch of Scotland is a story of love, loyalty and sacrifice, inspired by the true story of the last person to be executed for witchcraft in Britain.

Perfect for fans of Outlander and The Mercies, or for anyone with an interest in the history of witchcraft, late renaissance Scotland and Highland history.


"Compelling, evocative, heart-wrenching. This beautifully written novel, populated by a vivid cast of characters, kept me gripped from start to finish. Highly
recommended." —Fiona Valpy, author, The Dressmaker's Gift

"In Aila, Philip Paris has created a character of such defiance and vulnerability that any reader will be bewitched by her story." ― Elizabeth Lee, author of Cunning Women

"The story is told in a way that pulls the reader along and keeps you gripped - and sometimes appalled - as it builds towards its conclusion. This is a book we'd highly recommend to anyone with an interest in Scottish history." ―Undiscovered Scotland -

Author Biography

Highland-based author Philip Paris is best known for his books about Orkney's famous WW2 Italian chapel, the historical fiction The Italian Chapel and the non-fiction Orkney's Italian Chapel: The True Story of an Icon. His varied work includes Men Cry Alone, a contemporary novel that broke new ground in raising the profile of domestic abuse against men and which won the 2019 Scottish Association of Writers' Barbara Hammond trophy. Casting Off, a hilarious novel about residents in a Highland care home, was based on his sell-out stage play of the same name.