Witchcraft book

Among the books being offered at the PBFA event near Preston is a 17th century text on witchcraft from fair organiser and dealer Neil Summersgill.

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It is the organisation’s only event in north-west England, following the ending of the Haydock Book Fair which was last held in 2021.

The new venue, Brockholes Nature Reserve at Samlesbury, just outside Preston, will host the event on Friday and Saturday July 7-8 and almost 50 dealers from around the country have signed up. It was the idea of Lancashire bookseller Neil Summersgill, now fair manager of the event.

The venue, local to him, became familiar from his walks and bird watching so heapproached the venue’s events team.

Witchcraft book

Dealer Neil Summersgill is offering this withcraft book The Infallible True and Assured Witch: Or The Second Edition of The Tryall of Witch-craft… by John Cotta is priced at £5000. This second edition, published in London in 1625, mentions the Samlesbury witches – three women who were on trial at the same time as the more famous Pendle witch trials.

He said: “Fairs have been falling since Covid so starting up a new fair could be seen as brave or foolish. But we need to get back out there and get going. Fairs are what we do.” Dealers have followed Summersgill’s lead. They will come from around the UK including children’s and illustrations specialist The Haunted Bookshop from Cambridge, Graham York from Honiton and Holybourne Rare Books from Hampshire.

If the fair goes well it could become an annual event. The PBFA’s other upcoming fairs this summer include a new event in Hay-on-Wye on July 22 and then Ilkley, West Yorkshire on July 28-29 followed by fairs in Scotland at Glamis on August 5 and Ballater on August 6. The Hay-on-Wye fair will be held at Hay Castle in the centre of the Welsh town and is fully booked with 16 exhibitors.