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Pen and Sword Books

ISBN 978-1526751690

A History of Women in Medicine 

'Witch' is a powerful word with humble origins. Once used to describe an ancient British tribe known for its unique class of female physicians and priestesses, it grew into something grotesque, diabolical and dangerous. A History of Women in Medicine: From Physicians to Witches? reveals the untold story of forgotten female physicians, their lives, practices and subsequent demonisation as witches. Originally held in high esteem in their communities, these women used herbs and ancient psychological processes to relieve the suffering of their patients. Often travelling long distances, moving from village to village, their medical and spiritual knowledge blended the boundaries between physician and priest. These ancient healers were the antithesis of the witch figure of today; instead they were knowledgeable therapists commanding respect, gratitude and high social status. In this pioneering work, Sinead Spearing draws on current archeological evidence, literature, folklore, case studies and original religious documentation to bring to life these forgotten healers. By doing so she exposes the elaborate conspiracy conceived by the Church to corrupt them in the eyes of the world. Turning these women from benevolent therapists into the embodiment of evil required a fabricated theology to ensure those who collected medicinal herbs or practiced healing, would be viewed by society as dealing with the devil. From this diabolical association, female healers could then be labeled witches and be justly tortured and tried in the ensuing hysteria known today as the European witch craze.


How pagan women blended magic and medicine—and why their medieval recipes may help cure modern-day illnesses.
In ninth-century England, Bishop Alfheah the Bald is dabbling with magic. By collecting folk remedies from pagan women, he risks his reputation. Yet posterity has been kind, as from the pages of Bald’s book a remedy has been found that cures the superbug MRSA where modern antibiotics have failed.
Within a few months of this discovery, a whole new area of medical research called Ancientbiotics has been created to discover further applications for these remedies. Yet, what will science make of the elves, hags and nightwalkers which also stalk the pages of Bald’s book and its companion piece Lacnunga, urging prescriptions of a very different, unsettling nature?
In these works, cures for the “moon mad” and hysteria are interspersed with directives to drink sheep’s dung and jump across dead men’s graves. Old English Medical Remedies explores the herbal efficacy of these ancient remedies while evaluating the supernatural, magical elements, and suggests these provide a powerful psychological narrative revealing an approach to healthcare far more sophisticated than hitherto believed. All the while, the voices of the wise women who created and used these remedies are brought to life, after centuries of suppression by the Church, in this fascinating read.

Old English Medical Remedies

Pen and Sword Books.2018

ISBN 978-1526711700


Blkdog Publishing 2022


The Witch of Tessingham Hall

England 1657. 

Alison, a folk- healer, stands falsely accused of murder by witchcraft, an allegation that sets in motion a powerful curse — “May your women forever wane!” — the spell haunting generations of her accuser’s family, sending their women early to their graves.

London 2022. 

Eden Flynn – an anxiety-ridden academic of Old English magic is invited for a job interview in the crypt of Southwark Cathedral, where her interviewer, the dashingly handsome geneticist Lord James Fabian, pulls her into the midst of his family secret: his sister is sick, and his daughter is showing signs of the same mental affliction.

Science has failed to find a cure, so with Eden’s help he hopes to pursue a different methodology — magic!

Together they re-enact an ancient Old English healing ritual that transports Eden back through time where she meets Alison, who reveals her destiny: only Eden can break the blood curse, curing James’s daughter and sending the true witch back to Hell.

Can Eden fulfil her part in the web which has been woven stronger and stronger over hundreds of years? Can she find the strength to break the bonds that bind her and Lord Fabian to the past? And can she live with the changes she will unleash?

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