image by @caricatureclub

Jourdemayne, the Witch of Eye

Jourdemayne was burned at Smithfield in London for witchcraft in 1441. Friend to the eminent and educated of her time, she was sought by many for her knowledge of dark matters.

Jourdemayne writes about …

... belief in the supernatural: what and why; where does it lead us? She also occasionally suffers from mission creep. Sorry.

I am editor of …

The Skeptic is the UK’s only regular magazine to take a critical-thinking and evidence-based approach to pseudo-science and the paranormal.

The latest issue:

Quotes & Testimonials

"Everyone's favourite skeptical witch, Jourdemayne, with superbly written thoughts on superstition, religion and the human condition"
Crispian Jago

"My two favourite bloggers ... are Petra Boynton and Jourdemayne ... Jourdemayne draws her insights from a different background: profound historical knowledge of the extraordinary things people have believed in. She then uses this to contextualise more contemporary matters."
Jack of Kent

"... the erudite and charming Jourdemayne ..."
Jack of Kent

"This is brilliant - must read"
('Priests, Pederasts & Privilege')
David Colquhoun

The Anglian Wolf Society

I support the work of The Anglian Wolf Society, which operates a sanctuary for wolves in North Bedfordshire. Its aims are to:

• educate and inform the public about wolves
• promote and support wolf conservation
• give people who would like to study or work with wolves the chance to do so

Please visit their site and donate if you can. You can even visit, and learn more about these wonderful and often misunderstood animals.

The Disturbing World of Jan Švankmajer

More for Halloween. Here’s a promo-type movie to introduce the work of Czech film-maker, Jan Švankmajer

Švankmajer’s surreal and macabre multi-media creations are an absolute delight. I dare you not to sit there slack-jawed with revulsion and fascination. He’s been a massive influence on more well-known western film-makers such as Terry Gilliam, the Brothers Quay and Tim Burton (although I think Burton has injected a little light-heartedness that not recognisable from Švankmajer’s oeuvre).

Švankmajer comes from Prague and he spent most of his life under Communism there. Several of his films were even banned, at one point. I’ve worked in Prague for spells and it’s pleasant enough in the summer. But the city’s medieval, eerie darkness really emerges in the cold. It’s a tremendously atmospheric place, evoking every gothic sensation you ever wanted to experience. I can see how it would have formed the man and his art: that, and the Kafka-esque political environment of his early life.