Title: Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire
Author: S.C. Skillman
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Category: Non-Fiction History/Travel
Warwickshire, often known as Shakespeare’s County, has a host of strange and mysterious tales ranging from ancient legends and stories of the supernatural to more modern documented cases. Curious beliefs and customs were once widespread in Warwickshire’s towns and villages, some of which still flourish today. These strange and spooky stories include the quirky death of the Roundhead commander who owned Warwick Castle, the association of the great author J. R. R. Tolkien with the town, and the story of the hand of glory obtained at Warwick hangings. The historic buildings of Stratford-upon-Avon have witnessed many strange events over the centuries and more recently the Crackley Wood sprite has been sighted at Kenilworth. Other stories include the Wroth Silver at Knightlow Cross, an 800-year‑old violent ball game played annually at Atherstone on Shrove Tuesday, and the unresolved mystery of the 1945 murder at Lower Quinton associated with witchcraft, along with other strange tales from the surrounding towns and villages. These stories are accompanied by the author’s photographs in this hugely entertaining book.
I’m a firm fan of this author’s work and reviewed her last book, Paranormal Warwickshire, on my blog here. I enjoy reading anything that covers my local area, and as most of the places mentioned in this book are on my doorstep, I was hooked from the beginning.
The author’s descriptive writing allows you to step into the stories and engage with the tales from Warwick Castle in the 1600s to the accusations of witchcraft in 1867. It would be easy to take this book on tour with you and walk the routes mentioned.
The book covers everything from the strange and spooky to rural crimes, folklore, supernatural, and ancient rituals. My favourite chapters included Tales of Warwickshire Witchcraft and the Ancient Forest of Arden. I also loved reading about intriguing people like Cyril Hobbins, our modern-day Geppetto for Disney’s Pinocchio of Kenilworth.
I would recommend this excellent book for history and travel fans and locals interested in understanding more about the Warwickshire area.
Thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.