Book Recommendation: "Witch Wood" by John Buchan

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Catechised in Heidelberg

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

after a recent recommendation by a dear Brother I read John Buchan's "Witch Wood". I just finished it today and thought I share this as a book recommendation.

Buchan wrote this book in 1927 after researching for James Graham of Montrose and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in 17th Century Scotland.

The plot is also put in that time. A young just ordained minister starts his ministry in a small village called Woodilee.
He dreams about having a "normal" ministry life involving preaching and catechising but also sitting in the study and writing big commentaries and theological works
that will be remembered for centuries. He finds a congregation which says and does all the good things, elders and laymen confessing good calvinistic doctrines and quoting
the Scriptures often. Everything feels comfortable and well in Woodilee.

After some time however, the minister stumbles into a pagan and demonic ritual that is held in the forrest of Woodilee noticing that some people of his own congregation are involved who he would have acknowledged a good sense of doctrine and conversation. And with this discovery the whole plot changes and becomes very dramatic. Nothing is the same anymore and the minister begins to see good old Woodilee with different eyes.

I don't want to say too much, maybe some of you already know that novel. I would be very interested in your opinions on that book. As I said, it is heavily dramatic, theologically deep and a good wake-up call for some assumptions I assume young theology students might have when they dream about their ministries.

Again, I highly recommend this book which critics of Buchan have called his masterpiece.


Puritan Board Senior
Thanks! I've only read his Greenmantle but will put this one on the list.


Puritanboard Clerk
Buchan is really good. Not great, but really good. If you can find BBC dramatizations of his audio, those are excellent.
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