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Enchantment, Witches and Woodlands

In Marie Darrieussecq's new novel the forest is a haven for fugitives. Lisa Mullen & Dafydd Daniel report on the Ashmolean exhibition of magic and witches. Matthew Sweet presents.

Matthew Sweet takes to the woods with thoroughly modern witch, William Hunter, and writer and folklorist, Zoe Gilbert, to look for green men and suitable spots for a ritual. If modern magic is all about re-enchanting the world then old magic was more about fear and keeping witches out but as a new exhibition opens in Oxford, Dafydd Daniel and Lisa Mullen discuss whether magical thinking is an inevitable part of being human while in Marie Darrieussecq's new novel set in a not very far away and dystopian future, the forest is the last haven for fugitives.

Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq also looks at clones and trafficking. Her first novel, Pig Tales, was translated into thirty-five languages.
As Radio 3 explores the idea of forests of the imagination she joins presenter Matthew Sweet along with New Generation Thinkers Dr Dafydd Daniel, who teaches at Jesus College, University of Oxford and Dr Lisa Mullen, who is the Steven Isenberg Junior Research Fellow, Worcester College.
Zoe Gilbert's novel Folk is out now.

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft runs at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford until 6 January 2019.
A playlist of Radio 3's Into the Forest programmes is here https://bbc.in/2RUE1La

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

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46 minutes

Podcast