Your Halloween Press

Whether you call it All Hallows’ Evening, Hallowe’en, or just plain old Halloween, we thought it would be a good time to suggest a few titles to those readers feeling the spirit. Few people realize that in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries it was common to incorporate something of a departed loved one—usually a lock of hair—in a piece of jewelry. In Death Lamented illuminates the fascinating tradition of “mourning jewelry”—rings, bracelets, brooches that served as eternal memorials and reminders of the deceased.

In The Witch in the Western Imagination, Lyndal Roper, Oxford professor and expert in the history of witchcraft, moves away from the usual focus on trials and communal dynamics to concentrate on the witch as a symbol. What do we see in the witch? Roper shows how the meanings we associate with witches reveal much about ourselves.

And finally, let’s not forget John Stilgoe, who, in Landscape and Images, explains that the jack-o-lantern began as a boundary marker, a warning that one was trespassing. And to think, we now give trespassers candy…