Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's very nice of you.

I do hope that at some stage my publisher will take them up again. My series on Cork in the 1920s is doing well, but I should love to keep going with the Burren series.
I am particularly interested in Domhnall O'Davoren as I saw the document compiled by him and his students while in Cahermacnaghten law school on the Burren, when I was in the British Library. It was a wonderful moment to hold in my hand something that connected my stories with a historical artefact.

Wed Jan 16 21:33:33 2019

 
John Wright writes from United States
Thank you for your reply. I have visited the Burren and agree about its beauty.

I hope these books do not come to and end since I have enjoyed each and every one.

Wed Jan 16 20:48:54 2019

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's certainly something I shall do if there is a reprint of these books. Unfortunately, at the moment there is not much of a demand for them. It's sad because I think Brehon Law and its contrasts with English law, is a most interesting subject.

And the Burren with its stone pavements and unique wild flowers is a most beautiful place.

Wed Jan 16 13:17:48 2019

 
John wright writes from usa
I just finished my 12th Burren mystry. Obviously I enjoy the books. What I wish is that I knew how to pronounce the characters names. Every chapter I s em to try a variation on what I thought it might be last chapter.

Would it be possible to include a page with a phonetic version of the Gaelic names?

Wed Jan 16 04:40:28 2019

 
Carol Pope writes from United States
Thank you so much. I will try to acquire those books. I took 3 years of Latin in high school here in California in the mid sixties. I would need a major brush up course as a few years and brain cells have passed. You rarely find a school that offers Latin any more. Sad. Thanks for the encouragement, but you being a prolific published writer, I'd say you have just a few fans. Keep writing!! Love your work. Thanks again. Carol

Sat Dec 8 20:37:05 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Carol,

Good luck with the novel. Well worth making it a good one as the market loves the first-time writer.
As for Brehon law, well these are the books that I found to be of the most use - in order of usefulness.
Fergus Kelly: Early Irish Law
Fergus Kelly: Early Irish Farming
Laurence Ginnell: Brehon Laws, a Legal Handbook

And, if you read Latin, 'Corpus Iuris Hibernici', translated by Daniel Binchy, (a friend and former schoolmate of my father), from various texts in old, middle and early modern Gaelic into Latin, perhaps rather unhelpfully, but I suppose the idea was that Latin was a language that all Europeans knew - perhaps true in the early part of the 20th century, but not nowadays!
Really Fergus Kelly is the one that I would recommend.

Sat Dec 8 10:42:10 2018

 
Carol Pope writes from
Dear Ms. Harrison, I have been enjoying your Lady Judge books. The time period and setting in Ireland is quite fascinating. Where did you get your information about the specific Brehon Laws? I would like to know about them. I am writing a novel(like everyone else on the planet) that takes place near "Cill Airne" near the time period you wrote these books. I have found a couple books, but your placement of a Brehon Law at the beginning of each chapter is so specific. I wanted to know what sources you used. If you still live in the west, I hope the storms haven't affected you too much this year. Take care.
Carol Pope

Fri Dec 7 21:05:18 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Joe,

I'm so sorry. I've had a really busy few months, but that is no excuse. I meant to thank you for the book recommendation. It's a wonderful book, fascinating! I've recommended it to lots of friends.

I was actually present in Kent during the great storm of 1987. I remember Bedgebury Forest and it looked as though a giant knife had sliced a swathe through the trees.

On a personal note, I was headteacher of a 100 year old school in Kent at the time and after a night of listening to slates falling from the roof of our house. I had a phone call from the school caretaker to say that the chimney of the school had been blown down and had landed upon the desk in my office.

Thu Oct 25 18:28:37 2018

 
Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,

How did you get with the "Turned out nice" book?

Were there parts that rang true about climate change across the isles?

Joe

Thu Oct 25 12:46:09 2018

 
Fiona writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora.

Thank you for your lovely reply and for taking the time to write such a comprehensive response.

Such good news that the Reverend Mother is going to continue solving crimes.

Kind regards

Fiona

Tue Oct 23 13:21:08 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Fiona. What a lovely message. These books are very dear to my heart. I find when I write them that I very seldom hesitate for a word and I always seem to know what the Reverend Mother will say and where she will go.
It's odd because I grew up in Cork in the 1940s, but very little had changed about the city since the 1920s. I knew that from my parents' stories. I remember my mother saying that so often the Reverend Mother of the school she went to would go around the classes and say to the children: 'Now run home as fast as you can. There's shooting on the streets.'
And so they would grab their coats,, their schoolbags and run!

Yes, I will certainly go on with the Reverend Mother and her experiences. After Christmas I will start on the next one which, at the moment, is called 'Death of a Prominent Citizen' and is about the murder of the Reverend Mother's very wealthy widowed cousin.

Thank you again for writing. It means such a lot!

Tue Oct 23 12:21:05 2018

 
Fiona writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora

I have just finished reading Murder At the Queen's Old Castle and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it and all the other Reverend Mother books.

You have created lovely characters that I care about and want to know what happens to them. You paint such vivid pictures with words. It makes me sad to read about the squalor and awfulness of what life was like for ordinary people in 1920s Cork - I can "see" it all as I read.

Is it likely there will be more cases for the Reverend Mother to solve?

Thank you for writing this first class series and also for The Burren Mysteries; Mara (still can't believe that there will be no more) was a lovely character... and maybe Hugh will make an appearance one day :)

Thank you again for giving so much pleasure to so many people.

Regards, Fiona

Tue Oct 23 11:51:16 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Well, Lynn, you are the very first person to mention this to me. When i was writing the book I came across the quote and was, like you, intrigued by this 'man butter' and 'woman butter'. I looked up every book that I have, interrogated the Internet, but all to no avail.

I was just talking about this to my husband and he, brought up during the second world war in rural Monaghan, to the north of the republic of Ireland, came out with a memory of his mother during the war, making a distinction between 'creamery butter' and 'country butter'. Apparently the'creamery butter' was fine and smooth and would be served to the parish priest, the nuns or an important visitor, whereas she served her family of ten children, five boys and five girls, with 'country butter' which was a lot more lumpy.

I wonder whether there was that distinction - not that there would have been creameries in those days - but it may be that one kind of butter was much finer and smoother than the other.

And we can only guess which one was reserved for the men. And which for the women!

Tue Sep 18 18:55:02 2018

 
Lynn McCreedy writes from USA
Hello Cora,
I have enjoyed reading your Burren mysteries! You give the reader such a sense of place, geographically, culturally and historically. It's kind of heartbreaking to time-travel to that period when champions of Irish law and governance did their best to maintain sway against the looming English threat. Digging in to complicated, human stories is my favorite way to understand history, and I thank you for your work.
I have a question about the Brehon law excerpt from chapter 7 in "A Fatal Inheritance:" What on Earth are man-butter and woman-butter? Both Wikipedia and Google have failed me on these terms, though I did learn that butter from goat's milk is a thing.
With warm regards,
Lynn

Tue Sep 18 14:13:27 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Clemens,

First of all, let me apologize. My phone and broadband have been out-of-order for the last fortnight - one of the downsides of living in rural west of Ireland is that we have a very poor communications service.

I'm right and the cover blurb is wrong.
I'm sometimes consulted about these things, but not always and I suppose there was a feeling that time was getting on, whereas I think of those mysteries to be centered on the years after the War of Independence finished, but I am reluctant to tie them to any particular time.

Fri Aug 17 16:28:00 2018

 
Clemens Schoonderwoert writes from Netherlands
Hi Cora,

After having read your book "Beyond Absolution" I have one query to you and is this. At the end of the book there's a publication of the Cork Examiner and its header says, July 2, 1923. Should that not have been 1925, because on the inside flap of the cover it says that the story is set in 1925.
What should it be dear Cora?

Very kind regards, Clemens.

Tue Aug 7 13:56:57 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Have just downloaded that book onto my Kindle, Joe.

Will let you know how I get on.

Am already nostalgic for some rain and the fuchsia bushes on my avenue are suffering badly.

Thu Jul 12 18:09:08 2018

 
Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Thanks Cora,

So the "speleowaters" are a kind of short term inheritance?

I did get a grasp at my clan history via your Fatal Inheritance book. Our geographical dispersion in the the USA, coupled with a general silence about family circumstance leaves us bereft.

Then there is the "let the dead lie still" admonishment.

There is a predictive book about climate change for the English isles, at least - "Turned out nice".

Actually it means that in the short term it SEEMED things will get "nice".. but as a long lasting trend.. ?

Joe

Thu Jul 12 17:13:17 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I suppose that the Burren has two sources of moisture in these heatwave days, Joe. There is a heavy sea mist every night and early morning - once the air cools - and then the limestone passages and caves which travel for miles under the surface (have you read 'A Fatal Inheritance '?) hold the winter rains - and this winter it rained nine days out of ten - and now we are all yearning for the rain to come back!

And you make me nostalgic for my Burren books. I so enjoyed writing these. The Reverend Mother books are grimmer, harder and sadder, although they give me satisfaction and awake the memories of the stories my parents told me of their youth in the troubled city of Cork.

Wed Jul 11 07:13:18 2018

 
Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,

Is it that the sea air brings nourishing moisture to the hilly pastures of the Upper Cantred - while lower Ireland withers in the rain shadow.. and fears the mega-drought?

Joe

Tue Jul 10 23:47:40 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Lovely, sunny weather here. Makes such a change from the rain!

Mon Jun 25 02:18:34 2018

 
Scott writes from USA - California
Hello again Cora,
Thank you for your response- I am glad you are on the Burren road to recovery! It has been a while since I have participated in the Guestbook and just started the Verdict of the Court. I asked before reading as the image reminded me of so many great visits and now see Cormac referencing Bunratt!
I visualize so much when reading this series and I hope to stir that interest with some children of the family (get them away from the e-stuff a bit!). Maybe if I add some personal insights that will trigger curiosity. We'll see!
It's sunny here, I hope the same there!
All the best,
Scott

Sat Jun 23 16:09:05 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Debbie. I'm so pleased that you like My Lady Judge. And if you go on liking it there are another thirteen books for you to read!

Fri Jun 22 20:51:54 2018

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry. Scott, I should have replied earlier. Everything seemed to go wrong this spring, but now everything us back to normal and I am feeling very much better, thank you.

And yes, of course, you are right. It is Bunratty. It was the property of Turlough Donn O'Brien, who was a real, historical personage - although I did invent Mara, Brehon if the Burren.

Fri Jun 22 20:47:49 2018

 
Debbie Clarke writes from Canada
I just recently discovered your Lady Judge books, they are so well written! All of your book descriptions sound fascinating, I look forward to reading them all, and eventually having everyone of your books on my overflowing bookshelves. I am also half through the reading of My Lady Judge; Caroline Lennon really brings that book to life.

Fri Jun 22 20:34:30 2018

 
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