The Burning Of Bridget Cleary: A True Story

The Burning Of Bridget Cleary: A True Story

Angela Bourke / Jan 23, 2020

The Burning Of Bridget Cleary A True Story In twenty six year old Bridget Cleary disappeared from her house in rural Tipperary At first some said that the fairies had taken her into their stronghold in a nearby hill from where she would

  • Title: The Burning Of Bridget Cleary: A True Story
  • Author: Angela Bourke
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In 1895 twenty six year old Bridget Cleary disappeared from her house in rural Tipperary At first, some said that the fairies had taken her into their stronghold in a nearby hill, from where she would emerge, riding a white horse But then her badly burned body was found in a shallow grave Her husband, father, aunt and four cousins were arrested and charged, while newspaIn 1895 twenty six year old Bridget Cleary disappeared from her house in rural Tipperary At first, some said that the fairies had taken her into their stronghold in a nearby hill, from where she would emerge, riding a white horse But then her badly burned body was found in a shallow grave Her husband, father, aunt and four cousins were arrested and charged, while newspapers in nearby Clonmel, and then in Dublin, Cork, London and further afield attempted to make sense of what had happened.In this lurid and fascinating episode, set in the last decade of the nineteenth century, we witness the collision of town and country, of storytelling and science, of old and new The torture and burning of Bridget Cleary caused a sensation in 1895 which continues to reverberate than a hundred years later.Winner of the Irish Times Prize for Non Fiction

    The Burning THE BURNING Aspect ratio . Sound format Mono An abusive caretaker at a lonely summer camp is disfigured by fire during a prank which goes horribly wrong Five years later, he returns to the area to take revenge against one of his former persecutors now a camp counsellor and the kids in his charge. The Burning film The Burning film Jump to navigation Jump to search The Burning is a American slasher film directed by Tony Maylam and written by Peter Lawrence and Bob Weinstein It is based on an original story by Maylam, Harvey Weinstein, and Brad Grey, with a musical score by Rick Wakeman of the progressive rock band Yes. Burning definition of burning by The Free Dictionary burning the act of burning something the burning of leaves was prohibited by a town ordinance combustion change of integrity the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something arson, fire raising, incendiarism malicious burning to destroy property the British term for arson is fire raising. Burning Definition of Burning by Merriam Webster Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, This Is the Most Effective Bed Bug Treatment, According to Experts, Apr One man used a garden house Burning Define Burning at Dictionary Synonym study Burn, scorch, sear, singe refer to the effect of fire or heat To burn is to consume, wholly or in part, by contact with fire or excessive heat to burn leaves Scorch implies superficial or slight burning, resulting in a change of color or in injury to the texture because of shriveling or curling to scorch a dress while ironing. The Latest Dozens killed on Russian burning jet day agoAeroflot said in a brief statement Sunday the engines of the Sukhoi SSJ were burning after the aircraft landed, but the sequence of events before and after the fire started was not clear Some Russian news reports cited sources as saying the The Burning of Highlander Center a Fascist like Attack Apr , The deadly racist spree in Charlottesville in and the killing of congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg in were fire bells in the night Another rang out in New Market Podcast The Burning of Notre Dame dailysignal Apr , Today, Monica Burke joins the podcast to share about the time she visited Notre Dame and what its burning means for France, Christians, and the Western world We also cover these stories. The Burning of the Houses of Parliament , Joseph Mallord Turner shows the fire burning within, although the shell at least survived The whole cluster around the great medieval hall was subsequently demolished, the area to its west now being occupied by a lawn with a statue of Oliver Cromwell. Burning of Washington Burning of Washington Throughout the history of the United States, the United Kingdom is the only country to have ever captured Washington, D.C the Burning of Washington also marks the only time since the American Revolutionary War that a foreign power

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    About "Angela Bourke"

      • Angela Bourke

        A Dublin native educated at University College, Dublin and Univ de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest France , Bourke has taught at Harvard, University of Minnesota, University College, Dublin Her Salt Water won the Frank O Connor Award for Short Fiction in 1992, and The Burning of Bridget Cleary won The Irish Times Non Fiction Award in 1999 and the American Conference of Irish Studies ACIS James S Donnelly Prize in 2001.


    1. By all accounts, Bridget Cleary made one basic mistake. She was smarter than most of her neighbors and family and - this was her mistake -she made no particular effort to hide the fact . Although her husband made no objection to the extra income she brought in through dressmaking and keeping chickens, he may not have welcomed the independence it allowed her. Neighbors commented on her air of "superiority"; another trait that made Bridget a bit "weird" was a disturbing tendency to look men straig [...]

    2. The incident that this book centers around is culturally pretty interesting, but this book is a really disappointing and poorly-executed study of it. My main problems with it:1. The author includes long disquisitions on the cultural context of Bridget Cleary's murder. These are way out of hand. It's interesting to know the background of the epithet "Hottentot," but we don't need a page and a half on it. It's also interesting that at the same time Bridget Cleary was murdered and her family member [...]

    3. Reading all those stories of Crofton Croker's, usually involving babies, hot pokers, boiling water or open fires, about the various ways for dealing with changelings, I remember feeling a sense of creeping horror at the idea that someone at some time genuinely thought it might be a good and necessary thing to do these things. At the back of my mind - not even that far back, really - was the story of Bridget Cleary, burned to death after two nights of torture and mistreatment because her husband [...]

    4. In the spring of 1895 a woman was burned to death in her kitchen at the hands of her husband, her father, and several cousins. The woman, Bridget Cleary, was accused of being a changeling, a product of fairy-work. Bridget had been ill for about a week prior and accused of not being herself. The next logical step, of course, was to try to remove the fairy from the woman by whatever means necessary. Unfortunately for her husband, Michael Cleary, and the rest of the family, no fairy left the body o [...]

    5. Fascinating account of the 1895 murder of Bridget Cleary in a rural town in Tipperary, Ireland; the trial of her husband, cousins and others accused of her killing; and the folklore and fairy beliefs of old Ireland that played a key role in the crime (or were perhaps just a desperate excuse?).Bridget Cleary is often referred to as the last witch burned in Ireland, and one of the strengths of the book is author Angela Bourke's ability to convey the ways in which Ireland was changing during the la [...]

    6. I found this book very interesting but at times extremely confusing. There seemed to be too much unrelated information woven into the main story while at the same time certain details were repeated over and over.

    7. this was a hard one for me. Not my usual Read. This is more about politics and a documentary about the times when this took place. took me quite a long time to get through it

    8. Are you a witch or are you a fairy,Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary? A children's rhyme, still well known in South Tipperary, shows that Bridget and Michael Cleary have not been forgotten. 232I waffle between a 3 and 4 for this rating. Definitely an intriguing book that I could not put down. Bourke tries hard to demonstrate all of the possible facts and environment surrounding this case. However, as I read through the case I developed a niggling feeling that Bourke possibly (maybe unintenti [...]

    9. In 1895, Bridget Cleary was bedridden with an illness. Her husband, Michael Cleary, began to suspect that she was not his wife, but a changeling sent by the Good People, the fairies, after they had kidnapped her. Folklore remedies to "cure" his wife failed and she disappeared, but soon after her badly burnt body was found in a shallow grave. Her husband and relatives had burned her to death, attempting to either cure her of bewitchment or kill the changeling.Angela Bourke sets out to explore the [...]

    10. I came upon the story of Bridget Cleary while reading the introduction to an anthology of British ghost stories. Apparently, the author had interested himself in the case, and sought to have the murder charges reduced to manslaughter, based on the sincere belief of the perpetrators that they were dealing with a changling, and not Bridget Cleary herself. Angela Bourke's telling of the tale is a bit tedious, regularly jumping between events in the chronology. While discussing the events of the day [...]

    11. The story itself is faszinating, but the style of the book made it very hard to read for me.I actually wasn't aware that it wasn't a novelized version of the story, but a non-fiction book with lots of quotes, foornotes etc.So it was probably my wrong expectation about what to get from this book which made it a little disappointing for me.I appreciate the effort the author has made to give the context of the time and the backstory etc. - but I would have prefered to have it as a foreword or in a [...]

    12. Bridget Cleary was burned to death by her husband in 1895. The reasons--as Bourke demonstrates--are difficult to tease out; it isn't clear ultimately whether Michael Cleary believed his wife was a changeling, or if in the aftermath of her (at least semi-accidental) death, maddened with grief and guilt, he came to believe that he believed she was a changeling. Bourke is very interested in the ways that traditional Irish folk beliefs, as a coherent system of orally transmitted knowledge, were beco [...]

    13. The sections of the book that dealt with the actual crime and it's aftermath were interesting (and horrifying). However, the author frequently digresses from the actual case. Her digressions come in the form of putting the case in to the context of politics (the Homeland Act in British Parliment), race & class (poor, illiterate catholics in rural Ireland), social change (the new generation born to farmers and laborers who were now educated and learning trades), and superstition and the oral [...]

    14. Just in time for Halloween, I finished reading The Burning of Bridget Cleary. The book is a very good narrative and analysis of the mysterious death of 26-year-old Bridget Cleary on March 15, 1895 in Ballyvadlea, Ireland. Apparently Bridget was believed by her family to have been taken away by "the fairies" and a sickly changeling left in her place. In the course of trying to determine if the Bridget in his house was really his wife, her husband Michael exploded into a rage and Bridget either ca [...]

    15. I labeled this as "biography," but really, most of it is not about Bridget Cleary herself, but instead, discusses her case as it is framed by the dominant Victorian British culture, and by the oral tradition of the Irish. The book seeks to shed light on how the Irish, particularly those who were illiterate, used fairy stories to enforce social codes and to explain losses like sickly or disabled children. I wish that it had contained more examples of fairy stories, though the author's interpretat [...]

    16. This could've been something more. More readable, more photos/pictures, more editing. And it also could've been less. Less pages, mostly. I sincerely applaud the author for doing her research incredibly thoroughly, but by including (seemingly) every detail at every point in the story, constantly diverging on the topic on hand (from paragraph to paragraph a lot of the time), it made it very difficult and clunky to read. I couldn't tell where I was in the timeline of the story at nearly every poin [...]

    17. Fascinating read. I applaud the author for her efforts in doing such extensive research and presenting the facts and doing so in an unbiased fashion. It would serve no purpose to degrade a specific group of people for beliefs contrary to more enlightened societies and the author takes great care in expounding this clearly. The work reads as a documentary of events as they occurred. I did like the fact the author also added some of the other events occurring around the same time but did not overs [...]

    18. Angela Bourke avoids turning this domestic tragedy into a True Crime thriller by setting the murder into the bigger social context and demonstrating how people from a variety of backgrounds reacted to the case. There a few serious sources for this incident, and Bourke has done an excellent job providing historical context and police procedures. Bourke never plays up the sensationalism of the subject matter.

    19. I wish the author had stuck with story of Bridget Cleary instead of jumping from the story to the history of Ireland. I know some of it could not be avoided but I found it distracted from the interesting story of Bridget Cleary.

    20. In 1895 in rural Ireland, a young woman named Bridget Cleary was burned to death by her husband. She had been sick with bronchitis for the previous week, and her family had apparently become convinced that the "real" Bridget had been stolen away by fairies, leaving a sickly changeling in her wake. In fact, the night before her death, her husband was assisted by her father, her aunt, and various cousins of hers to perform a magical ritual/exorcism that verged on torture. But the question of how m [...]

    21. Bourke brings her background in folklore to bear on a story that was famously sensational over a century ago, yet is now almost forgotten everywhere except in the immediate vicinity of its occurrence. In March of 1895, Bridget Cleary, her husband Michael, & her father Patrick Boland, were among the most prosperous working-class Catholic residents of their village in rural County Tipperary, Ireland. Although Patrick Boland was a member of the older generation & essentially an uneducated f [...]

    22. I came across this story as a result of a 4 week holiday in Ireland. After attending a 5 day storytelling festival and then getting into a gregarious discussion at a local pub, my new found friend (an author himself) recommended that I read this book because he thought I would like the way my theories on folktales being used predominantly as precautionary tales and as tools for determining signs, symptoms and treatments of various ailments was actually discussed and given credence by this author [...]

    23. readers won't like this because it's not a novel, nor is it the novelization of a crime -- we don't, in the end, get a window into individual motives and interpersonal relationships that led to the crime. In fact, Bourke's aim in writing the book is to show that our understanding and interpretation of individual motives in any given crime is always dependent on a broader cultural milieu. For Bourke, what makes the burning of Bridget Cleary important is that you can't understand it if you're goin [...]

    24. the back of the book describes it as "microhistory" and that, i feel, is a perfect way to discuss this story. angela bourke layers and layers history, economics, social mores and pressures, political movements, religious and spiritual beliefs and behaviors as she tells the story of bridget cleary, a woman whose death by burning in her own kitchen, at the hands of her husband and in the presence of her father and many cousins. bourke again and again highlights the differences between writing and [...]

    25. Bourke expands on an essay she wrote previously about Cleary's death. She examines women's work in the period--Bridget Cleary was a milliner and dress-maker, and made a lot of her own money--and how men reacted to the changes in domestic power thus set in motion. Bridget Cleary's murder was horrific--she was ill for several days, and her husband engaged both the drunken local doctor, who diagnosed Mrs. C with bronchitis and gave her medicine; and a "quack doctor" who claimed that Mrs. Cleary had [...]

    26. Auf Englisch gelesenEs hat eine ganze Weile gebraucht, dieses Buch zu lesen. Das lag vor allem am Stil.Statt der erwarteten Geschichte, bekam ich eine Abhandlung, in der alles wunderbar belegt war, jedes Wort mit Quelle angegeben wurde und dem Hintergrund - Feengeschichten im allgemeinen und im besonderen, die Zeit und der Wandel und das bzw. die Gerichtsverfahren um Oscar Wilde - ausführlich beleuchtet wurde.Nur, das machte es nicht grade zu einer gut lesbaren Lektüre. Persönlich hätte es m [...]

    27. I bought this book on the strength of a review that raved about it - and it did not disappoint. I'm interested in folklore, so was familiar with the tales and tropes that underlie this history. I had never before considered them as a means to provide guidance to social usages, however, or considered that the violence offered within them could, potentially, be a vindication for the mistreatment of women who did not conform to the mores of a patriarchal society.This is a true 'story', and the actu [...]

    28. This book is about an interesting topic - the strong belief in fairies in Ireland around the turn of the 20th century which played a part in the burning death of Bridget Cleary by her husband and several other family and community members. I felt the story and the points made would have been more readable if less details were included - for my own taste anyway. But for a thorough account of the testimony and court proceedings it is very complete. I had not thought of phrases like, 'she's not her [...]

    29. Very interesting insight into the infamous burning of Bridget Cleary in 1895 Ireland. The author goes to great lengths to try to explain not just HOW it happened, but WHY it happened in context of the changing times in the UK at that time (Ireland had not gained independence in 1895).I found the first chapter a bit confusing, to be honest. But from the second chapter onwards, the story becomes more clear and gripping. Ms Bourke does an admirable job in portraying the main characters as real peop [...]

    30. So a man burns his wife and explains that she was a fairy changeling. Hmmm. HMMMM you think. But this is oh so much more than just the story of a murder/manslaughter. Looking into Irish folklore, oral traditions and fairy beliefs - and the code of ethics/behaviour that underpinned them (not altogether different to the laws of religion/medicine), you start to understand why people might have believed in the little people. Or even if they had a healthy scepticism, still wouldn't break fairy law fo [...]

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