As I write this, Season 2 of A Discovery of Witches is airing in the UK on Sky and it’s quite a treat for Tudor history fans.
The series is adapted from Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy of books – A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life – and season 2 is based on Shadow of Night, which takes its title from a poem written by Elizabethan poet, George Chapman, which Chapman dedicated to Matthew Roydon. I don’t want to spoli your reading or watching, so I won’t go into details on the series, but season 2 sees the main characters, witch Diana Bishop and vampire Matthew Clairmont, travelling back in time to 1590, where Matthew is known as Matthew Roydon. In Elizabethan London, Matthew works for Queen Elizabeth I as a spy, and she calls him “Shadow”, and he is also part of a group of men known as the School of Night.
Elizabethan London is brought to life beautifully, and we also meet historical characters like William Cecil, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, Mary Sidney and Queen Elizabeth, played by Barbara Marten. The series really is wonderful, although the books are far better.
I received a “fan question” about the series, regarding whether the School of Night really existed, and I answer that in the video below. I’ve also shared trailers here for Seasons 1 and 2 of A Discovery of Witches.