Can’t-Wait Wednesday: In Defense of Witches by Mona Chollet

Posted March 2, 2022 by Stephanie in can't-wait wednesday / 10 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read.



In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet
Expected publication: March 8th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

Mona Chollet’s In Defense of Witches is a “brilliant, well-documented” celebration (Le Monde) by an acclaimed French feminist of the witch as a symbol of female rebellion and independence in the face of misogyny and persecution.

Centuries after the infamous witch hunts that swept through Europe and America, witches continue to hold a unique fascination for many: as fairy tale villains, practitioners of pagan religion, as well as feminist icons. Witches are both the ultimate victim and the stubborn, elusive rebel. But who were the women who were accused and often killed for witchcraft? What types of women have centuries of terror censored, eliminated, and repressed?

Celebrated feminist writer Mona Chollet explores three types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted: the independent woman, since widows and celibates were particularly targeted; the childless woman, since the time of the hunts marked the end of tolerance for those who claimed to control their fertility; and the elderly woman, who has always been an object of at best, pity, and at worst, horror. Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that these women continue to be harrassed and oppressed. Rather than being a brief moment in history, the persecution of witches is an example of society’s seemingly eternal misogyny, while women today are direct heirs to those who were hunted down and killed for their thoughts and actions.

With fiery prose and arguments that range from the scholarly to the cultural, In Defense of Witches seeks to unite the mythic image of the witch with modern women who seek to live their lives on their own terms.


This sounds like an amazing feminist read and right up my alley! It’s written by Franco-Swiss author and journalist Mona Chollet, and translated by Sophie R. Lewis. I can’t wait to read it!



Are you also looking forward to this book?
Leave your links to your Can’t-Wait Wednesday post so I can stop by!


10 responses to “Can’t-Wait Wednesday: In Defense of Witches by Mona Chollet

  1. verushka

    Oh wow, this sounds powerful and timely — what a great rec! I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

  2. I’m looking forward to this one as well! I have a review copy of it and I really need to get to it. I’m especially interested since it’s translated nonfiction – such an unusual topic in an already sparse genre!

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