Beth Underdown - Author

About the Author

Beth Underdown lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. Her first novel, The Witchfinder's Sister, is based on the life of the 1640s witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. Beth's interest in seventeenth-century England was sparked by the work of her great-uncle David Underdown, one of that period's foremost historians. She came across a brief mention of Matthew Hopkins while reading a book about midwifery, igniting an interest which turned into an all-consuming hunt for the elusive truth about this infamous killer.

Featured books by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister

The Witchfinder's Sister

Author: Beth Underdown Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/03/2017

Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Other books by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

The Witchfinder's Sister The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

Author: Beth Underdown Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/12/2017

'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...' THE PAGE-TURNING RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB BESTSELLER 'A compelling debut from a gifted storyteller' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan? Winner of the HWA Debut Crown Award 2017, and a Spring 2018 Richard and Judy Book Club pick, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Miniaturist and Burial Rites. 'Vivid and terrifying' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train 'Thumpingly good' Lucy Mangan 'A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction...what elevates this book above other historical thrillers are the questions that Underdown asks about the nature of power, fear and how easy it is to become complicit in terrible acts' The Times 'A chilling, creeping novel with very obvious parallels to more modern forms of witch-hints and misogyny, but is still firmly rooted in an England torn apart by civil war and gripped by religious fervour' Red 'A haunting, brooding debut' Psychologies 'At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale 'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat 'Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this' Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street 'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition 'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water 'Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster' Kate Riordan 'Superb: dark, terrifying and utterly compelling' Tracy Borman 'A novel for our times. Beth Underdown's The Witchfinder's Sister explores another time and another place to lay bare the visceral horror of what a witch hunt truly is' New York Times Book Review 'Entertaining and thought-provoking, with a valuable message for our own times' Washington Post

Witchfinder's Sister

Witchfinder's Sister

Author: Beth Underdown Format: eBook Release Date: 25/04/2017

';This is a novel for our times. . . . The Witchfinder's Sister [lays] bare the visceral horror of what a witch hunt truly is.'The New York Times Book Review(Editors' Choice) ';Vivid and terrifying.'Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the TrainandInto the Water';Connects nicely with such dystopian classics as 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale.'Booklist Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealthbut more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew's soul. There is a new darkness in the town, toofrightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice's blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he's become, Alice is desperate to interveneand deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew's reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul. Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother's brutal missionand is drawn into the Hopkins family's past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evilsbefore more innocent women are forced to the gallows. Inspired by the real-life story of notorious ';Witchfinder General' Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown's thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with echoes of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Talefor a truly haunting reading experience.Praise for The Witchfinder's Sister';Entertaining and thought-provokingwith a valuable message for our own times.'The Washington Post ';Highly recommended.'Library Journal (starred review)

Witchfinder's  Sister

Witchfinder's Sister

Author: Beth Underdown Format: eBook Release Date: 02/03/2017

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Witchfinders Sister by Beth Underdown, read by Lucy Brownhill and Roy McMillan. VIVID AND TERRIFYING Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six... 1645. When Alice Hopkins husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering womens names. To what lengths will Matthews obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan? A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekbacks Wolf Winter is going to love this Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and wont let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel Ian McGuire, author of The North Water Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster Kate Riordan

The Witchfinder's Sister

The Witchfinder's Sister

Author: Beth Underdown Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/03/2017

Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

The Witchfinder's Sister The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

The Witchfinder's Sister The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

Author: Beth Underdown Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2017

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six... 1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

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