Teen witches

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 6 18:58:42 EST 2003

While not a teen witch author (to the best of my
knowledge - I've only every read one of her books) but
i'd suspect that the first writer of wiccan witches
was Dion Fortune in the 1930s (which is probably
before the term wiccan came into vogue.) One could
also make a case for The wizard of Oz which is perhaps
the first book to feature a good witch - but again not
teen. The first specifically wiccan novel was gerald
gardner's (who really invented it all anyway) "High
magic's aid" in 1949, but again not teen. Since then
wiccan and neo-pagan ideas of witchcraft have
inluenced most, if not all, appearences of witches in
fantasy fiction. How many novels (except for those
from the Christian right) written since, say, 1970,
feature a traditional evil, pointed hat, broomstick
riding, in league with satan, malice-working witch.
Monica Furlong's "Wise Child" (1987) could also be an
early example, although there is a very un-wiccan,
traditional type witch there too, and the author is
certainly not a wiccan.


--- hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk wrote:
> Jennifer:
> Me neither, in fact I don't generally fancy book
> characters- maybe it's because I don't have a very
> visual imagination. The only one I can think of is
> Sorry, from Mahy's The Changeover, and I think it's
> because of Mahy describing his effect on Laura so
> well. In real life I think I'd be wary of him. 
> Me: 
> I feel I'm always mentioning the (Mahy) Changeover,
> but your post put me in mind of a question I'd meant
> to ask some time ago and then forgotten.
> A few months ago I went to an academic conference on
> Magic, and in the coffee break I got chatting to a
> group of witches, one of whom was doing a research
> project on the teen-witch phenomenon, which she saw
> as being largely inspired by Buffy. (She had a
> website where teen witches could share their
> experiences, and was planning to use the material in
> her PhD, I think.) Neither she nor anyone else in
> that group had come across Mahy's book, which being
> published in 1984 predates Buffy by what - 10 years?
> - and is packed with stuff that would make any
> would-be Wiccan drool.
> Can anyone think of an earlier example of a teen
> witch book? (I mean specifically Wiccan, not the
> kind of thing you find in Jill Murphy or even the
> Chrestomanci books.) I can't, off-hand.
> Charlie

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