Allen Raine

A Welsh Witch

The seaside village of Treswnd has elected Catrin as its scapegoat, shunning and stoning her as a witch. In bitter isolation Catrin internalises the idea of herself as damned and outcast, but her loneliness is eased by a growing friendship with Goronwy, to whom she starts to reveal the hidden wonders of the natural world with which she has become familiar. In particular she knows the underground waterways of the 'Deep Stream' lying beneath Treswnd, a zone of darkness complete with wrecks and human skeletons. Goronwy does not fully appreciate her strength until he becomes a collier in south Wales and a pit disaster leaves him trapped for days underground. 'Alone with the dead, the dying, and the frenzied around him,' Goronwy was then 'brought face to face with the deep mysteries of life.' Only Catrin's knowledge of that 'darkness at the core of life' as symbolised by the underground waters of the 'Deep Stream' can save him now. First published in 1902, A Welsh Witch, parallels superstitious rural communities and early industry with its harsh working conditions, and explores the ways in which human resilience and empathy can make 'a romance of rough places'.
519 printed pages
Original publication
Honno Press



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