Witches, icons, queens – a guest post by Jennifer Claessen


Delighted to welcome the talented Jennifer Claessen to the blog today as part of The November Witches tour! Jennifer has written a fantastic piece on some of her favourite witches – complete with their own Mayhem Rating! The November Witches certainly gets   5/5 cauldrons from My Book Corner!














Witches, icons, queens


The November Witches picks up the very next day after The October Witches. And Clemmie and her coven have already suffered a month of magical mayhem by then!

I grew up reading – and rereading – The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy which I loved so much. I have a very, very low threshold for scary (an early run-in with Goosebumps when I was too young I think left me a bit scarred!). I loved Mildred Hubble and the idea that witches weren’t simply monsters – and caused some magical mayhem!

So I always lean towards ‘cosy’ but still magical and… to be honest, often mayhem.

But really, my witches are just people, dealing with the problem of power. And they come in a long and noble line of wonderful witches.

Here are some of my chaotic favourites to both read and watch:

  • Ursula the Sea Witch (book and film)

MAYHEM RATING: 3/5 cauldrons

An outstanding octopus

The purple tentacled antagonist of The Little Mermaid, I knew the Disney version of the ‘Sea Witch’ first and, aged six, I did find her very scary! But with the A Month of Magic books, I’ve taken huge liberties with Arthurian legend and there are some amazing sea-witchy retellings out there too. In The November Witches, Mirabelle is bothered by a lot of knights for her ‘favour’ and I have a lot of empathy for witches who get pestered into using their magic! Maybe it’s just that I’m getting old (and turning into a hag myself!) that I have more and more interest in supposed ‘villains’ and unpicking their motivations to find they’re not that naughty at all!

  • Hocus Pocus (film)

MAYHEM RATING: 5/5 cauldrons

A chaotic coven

An extremely iconic trio of silly witches. Winnie is my favourite and similarly to Aunt Connie in my story, she is trying very hard to be a coven leader – but witches, like cats, are hard to lead! Like my witches, they are dealing with time limited power… unlike my witches, they sing and dance their way to attempted great evil!

  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (book and film)

MAYHEM RATING: 1/5 cauldrons

An icy ruler

The evil White Witch sandwiched between the lion and the wardrobe is a stylish queen. In every adaptation I’ve come across she is tall, elegant, stiff and imperious and wrapped in white – like Aunt Morgan!

  • Howl’s Moving Castle (book and film)

MAYHEM RATING: 4/5 cauldrons

Cursing old crone-ness!

Diana Wynne Jones was the queen of magic in my childhood. Whilst vain, wonderful Howl is the wizard of the title, I have a lot sympathy for the Witch of the Waste too. If a woman is a witch, there is almost always a good reason and vengeance is one of them! Sophie the protagonist is also very magical leading me to think a lot about when a female character is called a witch and when they’re not.

The Witch of the Waste has a slightly different, lighter outcome in the film and I love both the film and book of Kiki’s Delivery Service – she’s the cutest witch.

Follow the rest of the blog tour for more great content!


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