The Burning Of Bridget Cleary

The Burning Of Bridget Cleary : A True Story

3.47 (795 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day

When will my order arrive?

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-9 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


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 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 more than a hundred years later.

Winner of the Irish Times Prize for Non-Fiction
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 17mm | 192g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8pp b/w plates
  • 1844139344
  • 9781844139347
  • 74,039

Review Text

Scrupulous, clear micro-history at its best
show more

Review quote

The story of Bridget Cleary's death is a parable for a changing world, a well-researched and horrifying account of what could happen in the region where myth and modernity collide...As dramatic a murder mystery as any devotee of the genre could long for...And it is the rich abundance of ideas that makes this a uniquely important historical work * Irish News * Angela Bourke's fascinating, disturbing and powerful book tells a compelling and tragic story * Financial Times * Scrupulous, clear micro-history at its best -- Marina Warner, Books of the Year * Times Literary Supplement * One of those rare books that becomes an instantaneous classic * Independent * Fascinating... passionate and thought-provoking... a creative, stimulating book that deserves to win many readers -- Patrick French * Sunday Times *
show more

About Angela Bourke

Angela Bourke is the author of By Salt Water and Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the New Yorker. Born in Dublin, where she still lives, she has spent long periods in the USA, and has held visiting academic positions at Harvard University, Boston College and the University of Minnesota. A leading scholar in interdisciplinary Irish Studies, Angela Bourke writes in Irish and English, and makes frequent appearances on television and radio. She is Senior Lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland, Dublin.
show more

Rating details

795 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 14% (114)
4 36% (285)
3 35% (277)
2 12% (98)
1 3% (21)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X