• Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play,  History

    Bridget Cleary, Sex, Death, Fairies and Other

    This is the third in a series of posts about fairies as other. I promised, in my first post, to concentrate on fairies as other, particularly in the context of sex and death, because, as MacAllister Stone notes “other is all about sex and death.” Last time I looked at the tragic death of Bridget Cleary, burned because her husband Michael thought Bridget was the victim of a fairy abduction. This time I want to look at the story of Bridget Cleary in the context of sex and death. In Bridget Cleary we have a woman who is seen as other, an outsider in her community because of her differences,…

  • Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play,  History

    Bridget Cleary: Fairy Intrusion in Nineteenth Century Ireland

    Are you a witch? Are you a fairy? Are you the wife Of Michael Cleary? —Children’s rhyme from Southern Tipperary, Ireland I promised in my first post on fairies as other to look at a fairy intrusion in nineteenth century Ireland, specifically, the fairy burning of Bridget Cleary. In March of 1895 Bridget Boland Cleary (Bríd Ní Chléirig) was a trained seamstress, with a good eye for fashion, who owned her own Singer sewing machine. She lived with her husband Michael Cleary and her father Patrick Boland in a small cottage in Ballyvadlea, Tipperary, Ireland. Michael, like his wife, was atypical in that he could read and write; he worked…

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