With Halloween just past and Veteran’s Day (Armistice Day) on the horizon, here’s a nice segueway – a novel featuring a witch and other supernatural figures during World War One.
LIVING ALONE (1919) – Written by Stella Benson. This novel is like a World War One forerunner of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. In 1918, during what was then called The Great War, a London woman named Sarah Brown busies herself with War Savings Committee Work.
One day a witch invites her to move into a home called the House of Living Alone, which turns out to be a boardinghouse for practitioners of magic as well as assorted supernatural figures like faeries, imps, etc. Sarah accepts the invitation, taking her dog David Blessing with her.
This house is located on Mitten Island in the Thames River. Sarah becomes involved in the adventures of Peony, who is plagued by an Imp wanting to be born. She also meets Richard Higgins, a practicing warlock who runs – not a dairy farm – but a Faerie Farm, which is supervised by a dragon.
At one point a German bombing raid strikes a cemetery, waking up all of the dead. They rise from their graves, convinced that it is the Final Judgment, until Sarah and her new friends set things right.
Whimsically enough, circumstances later lead the witch who runs the House of Living Alone into mounting her flying broomstick and having a magical dogfight over England with a German witch. Continue reading