November 28, 2022

Kilkenny Witch Trials brought to life in new novel by award-winning author

THE award-winning author of ‘The Herbalist’, Niamh Boyce, has written a historical fiction about the Kilkenny Witch Trials and Alice Kytler.

Based in Kilkenny in 1324, ‘Her Kind’ is inspired by the real life story of Alice Kytler, but is a re-imagining of the story through the eyes of her maidservant Petronella, who would later become the first woman in Ireland to be burned at the stake after she was accused of being a witch.

The book draws on Kilkenny’s origins as a merchant town with its cobble-stoned streets and rich history to weave a tense and fast-paced tale.

The novel paints a vivid picture of what life was like in Kilkenny in the fourteenth century, and the harsh conditions people had to endure at the time.

It also brings to life the haunting story of Anchoress, the holy woman who has been bricked alive into the walls of St Canice’s Cathedral.

Kilkenny was ruled by Norman and English settlers at the time, with the indigenous Irish population confined to ‘Irishtown’.

The most gripping narrative, however, centres around Alice Kyteler, the heir to her father’s fortune after the death of her brother and the infamous Kilkenny Witch Trials.

The book tells how Alice outlived several husbands to become one of the most powerful people, male or female, in Kilkenny, and later drew the ire of the Bishop for refusing to grant the church what it considered to be its financial due.


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