Book details

The Cooper's Wife Is Missing: The Trials Of Bridget Cleary

By Joan Hoff, By Marian Yates

About the Book

In 1895 twenty-six-year-old Bridget Cleary disappeared from her cottage in rural County Tipperary and remained missing for several days. At last her body was discovered, bent, broken, and badly burned in a shallow grave. Within a few days, her unimaginable story came to light: for almost a week before her death she had been confined, starved, threatened, physically and verbally abused, exorcised, and finally burned to death by her husband, father, aunt, cousins, and neighbors, who had collectively confused a simple flu with possession by the fairies. In The Cooper's Wife Is Missing, Joan Hoff and Marian Yeates try to make sense of this outlandish, unfathomable, medieval "trial" and murder. Drawing on firsthand accounts, contemporary newspaper reports, police records, trial testimony, and a rich wealth of folklore, they weave a mesmerizing fireside tale of magic, madness, and mystery. This is narrative history at its evocative best.

About the Author

Joan Hoff is Director of the Contemporary History Institute of the University of Ohio, Athens. She is the author of Nixon Reconsidered and Law, Gender, and Injustice.

Marian Yeates has a Ph.D. in American History from Indiana University. She writes from her home in Island Park, Idaho.