A Mirror for Witches

FORBES, Esther (illus. GIBBINGS, Robert) A Mirror for Witches.

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"in which is reflected the life…of Doll Bilby, who, with a more than feminine perversity [sic.], preferred a demon to a mortal lover"

FORBES, Esther (illus. GIBBINGS, Robert) A Mirror for Witches. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1928.

Large 8vo. Original quarter mock-parchment over paper-covered boards, decorated with a distressed pattern in black; pp. [viii], 215; some rubbing to the spine, internally clean and sound aside from a small ink signature to the front free endpaper.
First edition, one of 220 signed by the author.
A Mirror for Witches is a novel telling the story of Doll Bilby, a figure from folklore who became a witch when she made a deal with the devil to acquire power. The book was an early novel to cover the Salem Witch Trials of the late 17th century, appearing years before Arthur Miller's The Crucible on the same subject. Over the course of the book, the rather judgy narrator watches Doll Bilby progress through all the usuall formative experiences of witchcraft, aka. looking at someone funny to kill them, hexing people using a doll (or "poppet") and engaging in woodland what-not with the devil.
A Mirror for Witches has been adapted for stage on several occasions, including as an opera titled Bilby's Doll in 1976.

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