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|Publication date||January 1987|
|Main characters||Granny Weatherwax, Eskarina Smith|
|All data relates to the first UK edition.|
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex...
On the back cover, illustrator Josh Kirby painted himself as a wizard.
- Granny Weatherwax
- Eskarina Smith
- Drum Billet, dying wizard, bloody-minded apple tree and reincarnated ant
- Archchancellor Cutangle
- The Librarian
- Gordo Smith, Eskarina's father
- Hilta Goatfounder, witch and friend of Granny's
- Amschat B'hal Zoon, a diplomat among his people
- Jaims Smith, Eskarina's oldest brother
- Cern Smith, Eskarina's brother
- Gult Smith, Eskarina's brother, briefly turned into a pig
- Hoki (mentioned), god
- Skiller, landlord of the Fiddler's Riddle, and his wife Mrs Skiller
- Zoons, a tribe of gypsy-like sailors
- Master Treatle, a wizard of the Ancient and Truly Original Brothers of the Silver Star order, and Vice-Chancellor of Unseen University
- Adab Gander, trail boss for caravan setting off to Ankh-Morpork
- Creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions, including:
- thieves from the Guild of Thieves, Cutpurses, Housebreakers and Allied Trades
- Mrs Palm (mentioned)
- Great A'Tuin and the Giant elephants (mentioned)
- Mrs Whitlow
- Granpone the White, a wizard (mentioned)
- Mr Herapath, a glassblower, and his wife (mentioned)
- Nanny Annaple (mentioned several times)
- Jeophal the Spry, a wizard who teaches Beginners' Dematerialisation
- Lecturer in Applied Astrology
- Ice Giants (mentioned)
- Acktur Cutangle (mentioned), Cutangle's father
- Ramtop Mountains
- Rim Ocean (mentioned)
- Sto Lat (mentioned)
- Pseudopolis (mentioned)
- Paps of Scilla (mentioned), mountains named after the presumably 8-breasted Scilla
- Cori Celesti (mentioned)
- Rimfall (mentioned)
Things and Concepts
- Applejack, possibly another name for scumble.
- Old Man's Trousers, herb that's good for the bowels.
- Bloodwater Lily, herb that's good for the bowels.
- Greater Peahane, herb whose flowering tops are good for the bowels.
- Swarm, all bees are a part of this creature.
- Warlocks, male witches who are not wizards.
- Tiger Oil, Maiden's Prayer, Husband's Helper, and Stay Long Ointment, medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction.
- Madame Goatfounder's Pennyroyal Preventives, a contraceptive.
- ShoNuff Ointment, a medicine for adults.
- Eighty Marvellous Herbs, a list of useful herbs.
- Ultramarines, a valuable gem.
- Spircles, a chameleon gem that can mimic ultramarines.
- Hypactic fluid, dissolves spricles, but not ultramarines.
- Zat, unit of measure in Zemphis.
- Necrotelicomnicon, phone book of the dead.
- Demonylogie Malyfycorum of Henchanse thee Unsatyfactory, a book.
- P'ch'zarni'chiwkov, a K'tumi word that, similar to the Cumhoolie word squemt, defines a feeling of considerable unpleasantness.
- First appearance of Granny Weatherwax
- First appearance of Mrs. Whitlow
- First mention of Albert (as Malich the wise)
- First mention of Sourcerers
- The Thieves' Guild is now the main law enforcement agency in Ankh-Morpork
The novel was serialised and broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 show 'Women's Hour' the same year as its release, 1987.
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