Cora Harrison
Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

My Lady Judge, paperback edition

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Cora Harrison's My Lady Judge, the first Burren mystery

Cora Harrison's My Lady Judge, the first Burren mystery

Published by Pan Macmillan in 2007

Cora Harrison writes:

My first book for adults, My Lady Judge, grew from my fascination with Brehon law, the very ancient legal system in place in most parts of Ireland, except Dublin and the south-east, until the middle of the 16th century (centuries later than its survival in Wales or Scotland).

The Burren

The Burren

I have always been interested in Brehon law as my father, a lawyer himself, was a friend of Daniel Binchy who rescued these laws from obscurity and translated them from medieval Gaelic (into Latin!). Since then others have written books including one in German, but the subject still remains almost unknown to the general public, even in Ireland, Wales or Scotland.

However, when we came to live here in County Clare, next to the ancient kingdom of the Burren, a very strange hundred-square-mile territory of mountain, rock and shattered limestone, I became even more interested as I discovered, a few miles from our farm, the ruins of a law school for the teaching of these laws that operated in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The remains of the Law School on the Burren

The owner of the school in mid-sixteenth century got his scholars to copy down the laws, many of them which had been just passed on by word-of-mouth and the resulting document, Egerton 88, (with graffiti by the students, complaining about their master out making the hay while they slaved indoors providing them with poor ink making them work so hard that it seemed as if the week had two Thursdays), is now in the British Library.

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Picture album of the Burren

Read The Prologue and chapter one...

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