Great Mischief Author:Josephine Pinckney Timothy Partridge was an apothecary of Charleston who had a secret passion for the dark Satanic arts, and a mind obsessed with the problem of Good and Evil. He knew the ingredients of witches' brews, and had been brought up on the legends of zombies and werewolves. So it would hardly be surprising if he were ridden by a hag, and scarcely more un... more »usual for him to visit the Adversary's court. It seems that hags, especially blue-eyed hags, can be very attractive companions for lonely bachelors. When one of them looks over your garden wall on a summer's day, it is only natural to invite her in. Or so at least Timothy thought. That was just a part of the experience which changed the little man's life. And when the earthquake came to Charleston, and the ground yawned and belched forth fire at his feet, how was Timothy to know that it was not the Judgement Day?
In this most engaging and provacative of novels, Josephine Pinckney plays a theme that may be taken either as fantasy or as gentle psychological realism. A part of her art is in her skillful balancing of these elements. Her characters are real men and women in the living South of the 1880's-and her witches and demons, whether in the mind of Timothy or in an airy half-world that most of us never enter, are thoroughly convincing on their own terms.
Miss Pinckney began her writing career as a poet. Her first novel, Hilton Head, was historical romance; her second, Three o'Clock Dinner, contemporary realism. In her new book she goes forward in an entirely new vein, perhaps her best. It is written with a sense for the right word, an irony and an imaginative lightness, that make it stand out as a rare experience today.« less