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The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland

by Peter Duffy

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902300,031 (3.23)6
A narrative account of the nineteenth-century assassination of an Anglo-Irish landlord whose demise occurred at the height of the Great Irish Famine evaluates Mahon's possible role in the sufferings of his tenants and draws on the observations of powerful period leaders.
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An interesting account of a notorious murder of a Protestant landlord during the height of the Great Hunger in Co. Roscommon, Ireland. The author does a good job of putting the whole affair into context, tracing the history of the Mahon family, and the history and development of the estate, including the serial problems in estate management that, along with the potato blight, ultimately precipitated Mahon's murder. The author's attitude toward Mahon himself is moderately balanced, showing both the good and bad in his behavior (his heir and son in law, rather deservedly, gets more stick, as does the land agent). There's also a fairly good analysis of the political events surrounding the famine, including the Catholic Church's politics; one of the priests in the area does not come off terribly well, being something of a bully. Overall, a good read. ( )
  EricCostello | Sep 16, 2023 |
REVIEW OF UNCORRECTED READER'S PROOF: This took me a while to get through because it is a very dense read, but I was shocked by how little I really knew about the Irish potato famine. Duffy obviously researched the incident related in the book and the events surrounding it very thoroughly and quoted many of the participants directly from pieces of correspondence, etc.

Even though this was an uncorrected proof, I found only a handful of typographical errors in it. I wonder if some of the passages will be broken up a bit for readability's sake in the final version.

For non-fiction readers, those with an interest in Irish history or this time period in the UK in general, I would recommend this book when it comes out (I believe that will be October 2007). ( )
  missylc | Sep 21, 2007 |
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A narrative account of the nineteenth-century assassination of an Anglo-Irish landlord whose demise occurred at the height of the Great Irish Famine evaluates Mahon's possible role in the sufferings of his tenants and draws on the observations of powerful period leaders.

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