Morgan Charmley: Spells and Secrets Blog Tour by Katy Birchall

Celebrating witches from popular culture

SAMANTHA STEPHENS Bewitched (1960s TV series)

Taking the crown for the classiest witch of all time has to be the fabulous Samantha Stephens of the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched

The perfectly-coiffed hair, the beautifully-tailored style, that remarkable nose twitch – Samantha is the ultimate picture of American sophistication, but with a sparkling mischievous magical streak that made her a star of the small screen and landed her a firm top spot in the witch charts. 

Bewitched begins with young witch Samantha falling in love with and marrying a mortal, Darrin, and consequently attempting to live a life of normality with him by giving up her magical powers. That’s when the trouble begins – giving up magic is a lot easier said than done. When writing Morgan Charmley: Spells and Secrets, I took plenty of inspiration from this wonderfully funny idea of a young, powerful witch trying to fit into a normal world.

And then there’s all the entertaining chaos that ensues from Samantha’s family of witches and warlocks, who inconveniently decide to drop by for a visit every now and then. 

One such character – who deserves just as much airtime in a discussion on witches – is Samantha’s mother, the illustrious, trouble-making Endora. She is not only one of the best TV characters of all time, she also put heavy blue eye-shadow on the map. Why Samantha married that mortal ‘what’s-his-name’ is utterly beyond her and she’s not afraid to say so, all the while sipping a dry martini. If Samantha’s the most sophisticated of witches, Endora gives the most glamorous a run for her money. 

The show is undeniably dated and it’s difficult not to yell at the screen every time whiny Darrin undermines Samantha when she uses her magic, usually to help him out of a tight spot or help him impress his stuck-up advertising colleagues. 

But at the time, Samantha provided a brand new spin on the traditional idea of a witch, paving the way for certain witches who would emerge later in popular culture, all with that defining quality Samantha has all along: the power ultimately lies with her.

A huge thank you to Katy Birchall for this fantastic feature and including my blog in the tour for her stunning new book Morgan Charmley Spells and Secrets, which published on 1st October by Scholastic, and is perfect reading material this halloween half term. Details of all other participating blogs on the blog tour can be found on the banner below.

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