When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive demons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future and they want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.
Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. The relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans.
Deborah Harkness grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and lived in three out of five time zones in the US! I’ve also lived in the United Kingdom in the cities of Oxford and London.
For the past twenty-eight years she has been a student and scholar of history, and received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, and the University of California at Davis. During that time I researched the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700. These experiences have given her a deep and abiding love of libraries and a deep respect for librarians. Currently, Deborah teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
My career in fiction began in September 2008 when I began to wonder if there really are vampires and what do they do for a living? A Discovery of Witches is the unexpected answer to that question. The book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also a bestseller in the UK, France, and Germany. Thirty-eight foreign editions and translations will be published.