Behind the book: The Hidden People

The Hidden People was published by Jo Fletcher Books in hardback and ebook formats on 6th October 2016. Now also available in paperback.

The audio version is narrated by Paul Mclaughlin.


“Meticulously researched, beautifully written and elegantly structured.” Mark Morris, author of the Obsidian Heart trilogy.

“Rather than a crumbling mansion in desolate countryside, she presents a homely cottage surrounded by verdure. Instead of winds and rain, the action takes place at the height of summer. Yet this is still a Gothic novel, infused with suspicion and obsession . . . A great blend of both human and supernatural monsters.” Laura Purcell, author of The Corset – Crimereads.

“Littlewood expertly weaves the themes of mythology and misogyny into a psychological page-turner that feels both familiar and fresh … Hypnotic and intelligent, with buckets of atmosphere.” SFX.

“An intriguing and unsettling scenario. Littlewood’s descriptions are picturesque and her prose convincingly dated and beautifully lyrical.” The Sunday Express.

“The story is narrated in an excellent Victorian voice; Albie’s determination to maintain standards of propriety and rationality in the face of the weird events are admirably described in the first person.” The Historical Novel Society.

“A dark Victorian gothic murder-mystery novel with a chillingly authentic feel.” Choice Magazine.

“Littlewood does a great job writing in a quasi-Victorian manner throughout and the twist is brilliant.” Daily Mail.

“A lush and atmospheric tale, The Hidden People will leave you with goosebumps.” Bustle.

“Beautifully unsettling . . . The Hidden People is a masterful piece of horror, gently leading you to the point where you’re no more certain than Albert what is fact and what’s fiction.” Horrorville Magazine.

“The atmosphere Alison Littlewood conjured up is absorbing and there’s a real sense of foreboding.” Independent i.

“The author paints a vivid picture of village life, and of Albie’s sense of dislocation – there’s a creeping sense of unease that builds throughout the novel until its conclusion.” Marie O’Regan, Sci-Fi Bulletin.

“An intriguing opening and a surprising, moving and rewarding ending.” The Daily Express.

“As mesmerising as it is magical . . . an excellent successor to Littlewood’s darkly-sparkling debut.”

“I found the story riveting from beginning to end, and appreciated how Littlewood nailed the Victorian gothic writing style.” Revenge of the Harvest

“Enchanting in a way that frightened me a little bit . . .  Littlewood has a stunning way with words.” Hummingbird Reviews.

“Alison Littlewood is fantastic at evoking a powerful almost claustrophobic atmosphere and a wonderful sense of clashing cultures as the old ways meet the new. This is a brilliant murder mystery full of gothic suspense.” Madwoman in the Attic

“The Hidden People is an eerily wondrous book for cold nights under warm duvets.” Our First Year Here blog.

“Magnificently realistic . . .Littlewood weaves a great story here, with plenty of questions and atmosphere to keep readers turning the pages, hungry to see what happens next.” Bibliotropic.

“The Hidden People is one of the most well written books I have read this year . . . The prose was true to the period as was the regional language where the story was set.” The Qwillery.

“You feel the fairies might even show themselves.” Western Mail.

“Gossip, rumor and supposition have been creatively blended with the introspective musings of a man who suddenly must question everything–and everyone–around him.” Shelf Awareness.

“Exquisitely unsettling.” Blue Book Balloon.

“The characters were extremely interesting and well developed . . . incredibly well thought out and put together.” Roadside Reader.

“Creates a fantastic atmosphere . . . If you are looking for an eerie read this Halloween, then The Hidden People makes for the perfect read.” Laura’s Little Book Blog.

The Hidden People deftly drops readers into a bygone world where wise women dabble in foretelling the future and sharing herbal concoctions; hobgoblins, changelings and fairies are evident, if you know how to look; and folktales and fantasies can pervade the mind.” Shelf Awareness.

” a brilliant story full of mystery, murder and intrigue.” Garbage File.

“It’s the quality of the writing which makes these introductory passages soar, with landscapes populated by flora and the villagers’ closed community depicted with all its questionable traditions . . .  I have no hesitation in recommending it to both genre and non-genre readers.” Gary Fry.

In the Media

“Littlewood lets an air of atmospheric gloom creep in slowly, leaving readers in doubt about whether the town’s strange customs are real, or whether Albie is being led astray by his own obsessions and preoccupation with the customs of the modern world. The ominous pacing and twisting plot build suspense, as the tale grows more unsettling with every page.” 6 Fantastic Folk-Horror Stories to Read this Midsommar, Sam Reader, Barnes & Noble

An article about Alison Littlewood: Folk Horror and Fairy Lore by Doris V. Sutherland.

Thirteen Horror Novels by Women to Terrify you this Fall at Bustle.

Audio interview at Breaking the Glass Slipper podcast.

An article on The Unchanging Appeal of Changelings is at Folklore Thursday.

In Barnes and Noble’s list of best scary reads 2016.

Discussing dark fairies on BBC Radio Wales with Phil the Shelf.

Q&A about folklore, fiction and the Victorians at Foyles.

Christmas list suggestions at Nudge.

Featured at Black Gate.

One of the October highlights at The Tattooed Book.

Best Christmas reads at Gransnet.

Featured at Future Fire.

October Book Highlights at Carabas.

A ‘best books I read in 2020.’

A Halloween recommendation at The Readers’ Corner (video).

The Hidden People is an editor’s pick for October in The Bookseller and ‘most anticipated’ at iBooks.

From Amazon:

“A quality read, convincingly penned as though by a Nineteenth Century writer.”

“An impeccably written, researched and fleshed out piece of literature.”

“This book reminded me of both The Woman in Black and The Wicker Man, but it has a magic all of its own.”

“A perfectly researched and written novel – Littlewood has woven historical detail, myth and folklore together with an authentic Victorian prose and an involving plot, and it makes this book a real pleasure to read.”

“‘Seductive’ is the word I would choose for this new novel by Alison Littlewood . . . I did feel the spirits of Wilkie Collins and Montague James peering over my shoulder.”

This is a well crafted tale, beautifully written, which develops at a steady tempo. I thought the conclusion particularly elegant. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to future stories from this author.”

“Folklore interweaves with reality until it is difficult to tell which is which. Ms Littlewood captures beautifully the village folk and their deeply felt superstitions and the reality of Albie’s Victorian rigid views . . . This is must read for the autumn/winter evenings that await us.”

“The book is most definitely one of the best I’ve read this year.”

“I was under the author’s spell from the opening pages and loved every word.”

Some scenes are so nail bitingly good that they deserve a locked door and a chair by the fire to do them justice.”