Read The Witch's Brat by Rosemary Sutcliff Online


The Abbey of New Minster means safety to Lovel. It is the reign of Henry I in England, and the monks protect Lovel from the people who think that, because of his crooked back and healing skills, he must be a witch. And, he has nowhere else to go.Then he meets Rahere, the King's Jester, in the abbey - and makes a bargain that will take Lovel to London, to establish a life oThe Abbey of New Minster means safety to Lovel. It is the reign of Henry I in England, and the monks protect Lovel from the people who think that, because of his crooked back and healing skills, he must be a witch. And, he has nowhere else to go.Then he meets Rahere, the King's Jester, in the abbey - and makes a bargain that will take Lovel to London, to establish a life of his own at the great hospital of St Bartholomew....

Title : The Witch's Brat
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780192713216
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 126 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Witch's Brat Reviews

  • Nikki
    2019-05-10 00:25

    Given her own life story, I suppose it's not surprising how often Rosemary Sutcliff wrote about people with disabilities. I always appreciate the lack of magical healing, and the way her characters find their place in the world despite everything. This is very classically Sutcliff in that. It's a slow story, no major drama, following a boy who finds his place and a master to follow -- also quite classically Sutcliff. I liked it a lot; it goes to show you don't need major action, just small and intensely personal issues, to make an absorbing story.

  • Joy C.
    2019-05-20 20:25

    It's becoming a bit of a New Year's tradition to read a Sutcliff novel as first book of the year! I had this little book sitting on my shelf for quite a wee time now, so I am so glad I finally picked it up for the new year. It is fast-paced, easy-to-read and wonderful, with the heart-throbbing "little moments" that is characteristic of Sutcliff. This simple story of Lovel, with a crooked back and foot and with the gift of healing, was really special and put that little ache in my soul. I loved Rahere too. Another favourite read by a favourite author!!

  • Joan
    2019-05-16 02:22

    Sutcliff had a quality about her that I don't see in many writers. She has a painterly eye for detail which she used to set the feel of her books. She also has an interest in and portrayal of the historically insignificant, who still should be remembered. Rahere was nothing more than a King's Jongleur. However, he had a vision and persuaded his King, Henry I, to support his vision of creating a great hospital and priory to provide medical help for the poor. That is the historical framework. Another quality of Sutcliff's is that of compassion towards the disabled. I just found the reason for that. Sutcliff herself was disabled from a very young age.The story itself is about a disabled boy, Lovell, who is driven from his home because of suspected witchcraft by his grandmother. He ends up in a monastery where he develops his gift of growing herbs and of healing the sick. When Rahere asks him to come help him with his dream, Lovell has to choose between the safety of the monastery and the risks of helping Rahere with his dream. Read to find out which choice Lovell makes. This is a quiet book. It is not for the child who simply needs to read a book by tomorrow. It is not even for the skilled reader. It is for that quiet child who loves reading and can appreciate messages and themes beyond the mere story.

  • Jennifer Freitag
    2019-05-12 21:10

    The dedication for this little book is "for Margaret...who only likes my earlier books, because she says the later ones are too bloody. Here is one of the earlier kind..." And truthfully, this book, though by no means sweet and sugary (is Sutcliff ever sweet and sugary?) is written more lightly and less grimly than some of her other works. I read it in the whole of a rainy, wintry Sunday afternoon and was quite enraptured by the tale of crippled Lovel the "witch's brat," and fantastic, half mocking, half grim Rahere the king's jongleur. Though short, it lacks none of Sutcliff's vivid imagery, heart-throbbing and heart-lifting.

  • Ness Kingsley
    2019-05-04 23:23

    It was beautiful.

  • Oreotalpa
    2019-05-04 23:24

    One of Sutcliff's "earlier kinds" of stories--a small, quiet story with no action and a lot of sense of place, this book is aimed at younger readers than some of Sutcliff's more popular books. The protagonist, Lovel, is disabled and a healer, which makes him not unusual for a Sutcliff protagonist, but he's also a monk, which is unusual (on the other hand, his decision to become a monk is utterly pragmatic and almost entirely lacking in religious calling, so Sutcliff's ambivalence about organized religion is still on display).This is also interesting because it's one of the few books with a real historical figure playing a fairly major role--Henry I's minstrel-turned monk, Rahere, is an important catalyst for both Lovel's personal journey and the plot surrounding the building of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield. I was amused by how similarly Sutcliff described both Rahere and Herluin in "Knight's Fee," although ultimately I think they are rather different characters. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I didn't adore it--it's an excellent companion to "Knight's Fee," though, beginning about a decade after that book ends and providing a different perspective on Sutcliff's version of Anglo-Norman Britain.Note: There are a couple odd discrepancies with the historical timeline. In the book, the wreck of the White Ship takes place in December 1121, rather than November 25, 1120; and the real Rahere seems to have been a canon at least by 1115.

  • Katie
    2019-05-06 00:58

    I loved this!! It is an odd story about Henry Lovell, an crippled boy in 12th century England. He has the powers to heal he inherited from his Grandmother. He is chased out of his village for being the "Witches Brat" and finds solace in a monastery where he meets the King's Jongleur, Rahere (a real person). He is first a servent, then a Monk, then an Infirmarian. Rahere becomes a friar and invites Henry to join him in setting up St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.I really felt that I had been there and met Henry and the enigmatic Rahere. For older fiction, no pictures to support the text.

  • Gloria
    2019-05-01 18:13

    My first introduction to Rosemary Sutclif, the British young adult author. Discovered her during Mason's home-school year, although I never had him read this.Wonderful text, would be engaging to many teenagers, I think.

  • TOM
    2019-04-29 00:10

    The story of Lovel, who is brought up by his grandmother on the Sussex Downs, after his parents both die. She is the village wise woman and learned in cures and the use of plants, Lovel also inherits this gift from her. Despised in the vicinity for his differences (he has a hunched back and twisted leg) he is attacked for being the 'witch's brat' and stoned - luckily escaping and making his way through the woods, eventually finding sanctuary in a monastery where he puts his healing skills to good use.This is the second children's story I have read by Sutcliff and she has a wonderful talent for creating settings and atmospheres. The story is only a hundred pages or so and yet it has a rich and powerful feel to it due to her evocative writing. I really enjoyed this and am definitely going to read more of her books. I wish I had read more of her when I was younger.It's great to see a protagonist who is disabled, and particularly in an historical setting, I am certain that due to Sutcliff's own disability (she suffered from Stills disease and was wheelchair bound for most of her life) she was inspired to write about individuals or outsiders battling against the odds, and overcoming their disabilities to become successful and renowned in their own right - Sutcliff herself certainly achieved this. I found this quote on her website which summed up my feelings nicely..."The sharing of storytelling that writers do with readers is the dialogue of imagination. Rosemary Sutcliff lives, grows and acts and suffers in her stories. The worlds created in her imagination have had to stand in for the world of much everyday actuality. From her therefore we can learn what the imagination does, and how it allows us all to explore what’s possible, the realm of virtual experience"

  • Matilda Rose
    2019-05-09 01:06

    Lovel was raised in a village where he could not so much as lay eyes on a cow before the owners threw stones at him and called him 'Witch's Brat'. Lovel was different. He had a hump in his back and lived with his old and wizened grandmother who was called Witch by the village people. She spent her time out in her garden growing herbs that classified as the Devil's herbs. So people took to calling her Witch and her grandson the Witch's Brat. Lovel's grandmother soon died, and he went to work in a monastery that never appreciated him for what he really was - a clever boy who could tell apart herbs by their smell and size, a boy who could cure people! Unfortunately, the monks did not see this and so Lovel did any dirty jobs no one else wanted to do.One day, an interesting man claiming to be the King's jester passed by the monastery. Lovel and he soon made friends. Rahere the jester and Lovel both liked to help sick people. So with Lovel's help, Rahere set up a hospital in which Lovel owned a herb garden. Lovel helped care for the sick and elderly. He helped with people who couldn't be helped, who were going to die - simply by sitting with them speaking kind words until they did. One boy called Nick came to the hospital. He had a broken leg and wished to be a freemason. But while his leg was broken he couldn't achieve his dream. Lovel takes up the challenge and Nick is able to hold on because of Lovel's back, which makes him feel Lovel understands. But it's a nearly impossible task... Will Lovel suceed?

  • Shari
    2019-04-28 18:21

    Sutcliff wrote everything from children's picture books through the young reader/YA genre's to adult fare. She had a sure sense of history and has always been one of my favorite authors. This story takes place in the early 12th century and offers us a glimpse of the herbal medicinal care of the period, as well as an interesting look at the particulars of raising great edifices such as a hospital/infirmary and a great gothic church. Especially interesting is the look we get at how the stone work was accomplished.The young boy, born deformed at birth which made him an immediate victim of scorn, was raised by his grandmother, an herbswoman who medicated the community and from whom Lovel learned his trade. On her death he was hounded from the community by the children who coaxed him out of town by throwing rocks at him. Had he not met the King's Jongleur who put hope back into his heart, he may have languished, but he did not. He used his healing understanding to help others.Sutcliff herself was a childhood victim of rheumatoid arthritis that kept her bed bound much as a child. Books had served as her major endeavor, brought to them by her mother's reading to her daily. In this tale her own understanding of handicap is used to good effect.I read Sutcliff, her books for the young as well as her books for adults. Everything she writes has great value. They are intensely valuable as historic information which leads to the desire for more specific knowledge on the part of the reader. These books cannot be lauded enough.

  • NancyW'f
    2019-05-02 22:23

    What can I say about this book? I think it is one of the most charming and best written books I've ever read. Even as an adult, I go back and visit this book again and again, especially when I am depressed or troubled. Lovel's life, so hard yet so full and beautiful, always comforts me. I have always liked Rosemary Sutcliff's novels, and the simplicity of the writing, the way the characters are developed, and Ms. Sutcliff's ability to evoke a time and place so fully, make the book a constant delight to me.

  • Winifred
    2019-04-26 01:02

    this is about a young man who has a deformity of his back and it is set during the reign of henry 1lovel helps is grandmother to heal people with herbs and when she dies he runs away from the place where he lives. he arrives at a monastery where he meets rahere the kings jester. whist at the monastery lovel helps with the physic garden and in the infirmary. rahere comes back to the monastery and asks him if he will join him in london with a new hospital and church. he does not go straight away. as he is looking after one of the monks who is dying. the hospital is bartholomew's.

  • Meredith
    2019-05-15 20:23

    Nice written, but a bit too pat and tidy, this isn't Rosemary Sutcliff's best work. Poor Lovel is crippled from birth and, therefore, suspected of being somehow an agent of the Devil since this is the 1100's. After being driven out of his village upon the death of his grandmother who was his protector and only living relative, Lovel finds place for himself as a healer in a monastery. I was little sad that Lovel entered a religious order, but really to be even somewhat historically accurate, he wasn't going to find love and make a home and family for himself in the world given his handicap.

  • LeAnne
    2019-04-29 23:57

    Rosemary Sutcliff is one of my favorite writers. This book describes the founding of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. By the end of chapter one we know the hunchbacked boy has a gift of healing. The author falls into some telling rather than showing to carry you through the years and how the boy feels about them. Surprisingly there are no female characters except the dead grandmother.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-29 20:05

    An intriguing take on the story of the building of St Bartholmew London

  • Magda
    2019-05-20 01:20

    I need to read more from this author.

  • Tina
    2019-05-22 21:22

    A very good read, especially for young readers, because it gives them insight into how disabled people were once treated.

  • Karin
    2019-05-20 19:13

    Excellent story, very well told. A dictionary of terms might be handy for young teens reading this.

  • Sara
    2019-05-20 00:25

    Pleasant, short novel. Nothing extraordinary, but an adept use of character and setting, typical of the author.

  • Tess
    2019-05-06 02:06

    A nice story about a disabled boy finding his calling and place in life.

  • Margareth8537
    2019-05-21 21:01

    One of her books for younger readers, which makes you think of how it might have been to be disabled in the 12th Century, when to be lame was a result of sin

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-05-02 19:00

    Another excellent historical novel by Sutcliff, this time about a handicapped boy.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-09 01:59

    What a lovely story. Would recommend for anyone who enjoys the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters.

  • Karen
    2019-04-29 22:25

    I love Rosemary Sutcliff's books, she turns historical fiction into magic.