Burning of Bridget Cleary

by
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2000-08-07
Publisher(s): Viking Adult
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Summary

In 1895, Bridget Cleary, a strong-minded and independent young woman, disappeared from her house in rural Tipperary. At first her family claimed she had been taken by fairies-but then her badly burned body was found in a shallow grave. Bridget's husband, father, aunt, and four cousins were arrested and tried for murder, creating one of the first mass media sensations in Ireland and England as people tried to make sense of what had happened. Meanwhile, Tory newspapers in Ireland and Britain seized on the scandal to discredit the cause of Home Rule, playing on lingering fears of a savage Irish peasantry. Combining historical detective work, acute social analysis, and meticulous original scholarship, Angela Bourke investigates Bridget's murder.

Author Biography

Angela Bourke is senior lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin, National University of Ireland.

Table of Contents

Family Tree: Clearys, Bolands, and Kennedys xiii
Chronology: March--July 1895 xv
Maps
xx
Laborers, Priests, and Peelers
1(26)
Fairies and Fairy Doctors
27(17)
Reading, Sewing, Hens, and Houses
44(18)
Bridget Cleary Falls Ill
62(23)
``Take It, You Witch!''
85(15)
``Bridgie Is Burned!''
100(30)
``Amongst Hottentots...'': The Inquest and Inquiry
130(18)
A Funeral, Some Photographs, More Fairies
148(28)
Two Courtrooms
176(30)
Trial and Imprisonment
206(26)
Epilogue: When Does a True Story End? 232(9)
Acknowledgments and Sources 241(4)
Notes 245(26)
Index 271

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