Mother Moth

Adrian Bell

Illustrated by

Francesca Bell


So many, many nights the pretty fluttering moth had visited Elspeth's sleeping cheek, and powdered her lips with dust from its mildewy wings. Mater parvulum amat nutrire. A mother loves to feed her little one.

A classic tale of witchcraft

Welcome to the world of Elspeth Willows. Elspeth converses with all the creatures at Milkcow Farm, where she and her father live happily. But Elspeth's powers reveal a dark side, relentlessly corroding the surface of her safe, sunlit world.

The mysterious, gruesome Mother Moth, a witch who regenerates by the sacrifice of children, has adopted Elspeth as her next victim.
Tangled thickets of dread, danger and dream trap Elspeth as she struggles to outwit her enemy, protect her father, and summon the
courage to accept her own nature.

Mother Moth is an extended fable for all ages, a worthy successor to the classic illustrated fairy tales, by turns funny, rollicking, thrilling, touching, always unflinching in its encounter with the archetypal fairy tale themes: love, death, and the nature of evil.

At the book's launch, four cellos, decorated by the illustrator, played the music which became Elspeth's story.