The Whitby Witches (header)

The Whitby Witches (cover)

Published in the United Kingdom by Hodder Children's Books

Ben in danger

'Look, Look! Down on the sands of Tate Hill Pier; see there, my friend. Three small, strange figures - do you not see them? Listen to them calling to the cliff. Ah, the sound is lost on the wind...'

Whitby at night

Two children, Jennet and Ben, arrive at the seaside town of Whitby to stay with Alice Boston,
a vigorous and eccentric 92 year-old.
Ben is gifted with 'the sight'
- he alone can see things hidden from the eyes of ordinary mortals.
He sees the mysterious fisher folk of Whitby and he soon discovers that Alice Boston and her friends are not quite what they seem.

Who are they? What are the fisher folk and why does a mysterious black hound stalk the darkened streets?
Robin Musings

'On my Twentieth birthday I decided to skive off college and go somewhere different for the day. A friend of mine suggested a town called Whitby on the North Yorkhire coast. So I set out, not knowing anything about the place. Well, from the moment I stepped off the train I knew I was somewhere very special and spent a very enjoyable, drizzling day wandering about the town. With Carmina Burana blasting in my headphones, I explored the ruined abbey on the clifftop. I was inspired, but it took another five or six years before I began writing about it.

In "the Whitby Witches" I tried to describe the excitement of that journey and used as many of the local legends as possible, whilst inventing a few of my own, most notably the aufwaders.'

'The character of Miss Boston is based on two people. The first is of course, that wonderful character actress, Margaret Rutherford, but the second is another author. Lucy Boston was ninety-four when I met her. I had simply written to her asking if she'd sign one of her books for me and she actually replied with an invitation to view her house. She lived in a Norman manor which is the Green Knowe of her books and every detail of the real garden and the actual furnishings inside is present in the novels. Strangely, the day I went to see her was my twenty-third birthday, and again I was inspired. Shortly after the visit I began sketching "the Deptford Mice" but later, when I wanted to write about Whitby, I named the character of the old lady who takes in two orphaned children "Miss Boston" as a tribute to her.

Also, the illustrations of Ben were drawn from my nephew who was the right age at the time. He never seemed at all bothered by it and when a girl in his class was reading the book and claiming it as her favourite, never even owned up to the fact.'


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