Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Carrie writes from USA
We have certainly enjoyed your Burren Mystery Series and introduced others to them. Initially drawn to them due to visiting there and amazed at the unusual and special geography. Found wild shamrocks there and the people at the B&B we were staying with were amazed at our luck.
Was disappointed in the use of soda bread in Condemned to Death(non-existent, soda was 19th c.) since the books are so well researched. Shame on your editor!

Sat Apr 25 19:53:40 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Hope that yo enoy the visit. At the moment we are having lovely sunny warm weather. Let's hope it continues. I haver never seen so many primroses!

Thu Apr 16 17:56:24 2015

Mary Leighton writes from United States
Thanks for the ideas of good walks in the Burren. I'll be sure to take them!

Thu Apr 16 16:51:52 2015

Brenda writes from Canada
Glad to hear you are fighting back from your health challenges and are beginning to feel well enough to think about writing again.
I would like to spend some time in the Burren area to do a walk about. I have a family commitment in County Down but I have left plenty of time for spontaneous adventures.
Take care Cora from all of us

Sat Apr 11 15:31:32 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I enjoyed meeting you immensely, Brenda, and still treasure the lovely gifts you gave me.
This has been a bad winter for me. I broke my ankle badly in two places at the end of the summer and that took a long time and then in November I got double pneumonia and again took what seemed to be an endless time to recover. Luckily I am well on the mend now and have got back my love of writing.
Are you visiting the Burren this year, or are you going to concentrate on Cork?

Thu Apr 9 09:19:37 2015

Brenda writes from canada
I am in the process of making final arrangements for my trip back to Ireland this summer. Memories of meeting you and the time you took to sit and have tea with us on my last trip two years ago are still cherished. I have just finished reading Condemned to Death as have the other ladies. Eileen was thrilled to see her name as a character in the book.
Many thanks for many hours of pleasure.

Wed Apr 8 16:43:18 2015

Ken Quin writes from Ireland
Thank you Cora.

I wasn't expecting such a prompt reply. Very much appreciate it.

Thanks again.



Mon Mar 23 09:51:08 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I think the book you have read, Ken, is probably Fergus Kelly: 'Early Irish Law'. I got it out of the library initially and was so fascinated by it that I then bought it. I have read four or five other books on Brehon law, but this is undoubtedly the best. He has also written a book called: 'Early Irish Farming' which is also very interesting as he refers to the law in order to elucidate methods, crops and stock in medieval Ireland. I owe him a huge debt!

Glad that you enjoyed my books.

Sun Mar 22 14:05:12 2015

Ken Quin writes from Ireland
I have read many of your books and enjoyed the beauty of Brehon Laws as depicted by you. I recall reading what could be described as a comprehensive laymans guide to Brehon Law many years ago but can't remember who wrote it or whether such a book is still available. Could you shine any light on such a publication? Brehon Law seems to make so much sense.



Sun Mar 22 11:58:33 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Do you know the Chesterton quote?

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

Thu Feb 19 21:07:31 2015

Joseph O'Laughlin writes from USA
Another Burren mystery on the wing !

Gregan's castle will have to wait for another trip. I was walking over hills and sleeping in hedges so could not get everywhere expeditiously. Besides, my bit of the sept emigrated from Kilfenora reputedly.

Finbar prefigures the truncated expectations of all clever Irish as unanswerable subjugation awaited them. IMHO


Thu Feb 19 20:43:19 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Mary: You can get excellent map of the Burren by Tim Robinson from 'Folding Landscapes' and Amazon, I think.
Here are places to visit - very unchanged except for a few appalling houses during Ireland's recent affluence.
Book 1 Poulnabrone, the judgement place and the law school at Cahermacnaghten - the ruins are there still.
Book 2: Noughaval with the market cross and Oughtmama - steep climb but interesting
Book 3: Newtown Castle - nice walk above it.
Book 4: Corcomroe Abbey - with the wonderful carvings
Book 5: Leamaneh Castle - magnificent ruin
Book 6: Caherconnell, the O'Davoren physician's house open to public
Book 7: Boat trip to Aran Islands from Doolin.
Book 12: Fanore Beach - wonderful place for children and adults - surfing and scenery.
Enjoy your holiday!

Tue Feb 17 09:28:58 2015

Mary S Leighton writes from USA
I will be travelling to Ireland for a week in July with my son and his family (wife, children 9 and 6). They have agreed to indulge me in finding a B&B near the Burren, so I can see the settings of the mysteries I love to read. Where are the places that look today something like the settings of your books?

Mon Feb 16 16:38:28 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry for the delay in writing, Claire. I was just finishing off my 14th Mara book - which will be my 50th published book!

I'm very flattered that you use 'My Lady Judge' in your classes. sorry about the bits of Irish. Could you send me anything that puzzles you. I'm afraid that I don't have a very clear memory of book 1 and I'm so busy at the moment that I haven't time to re-read it. I did skim through last night, but couldn't find anything that wasn't explained (or self-explanatory) except for 'ocaire' and 'boaire' - meaning, what's called here in Ireland 'a small farmer' and 'a stout farmer'. Hope that makes sense.

Wed Feb 11 07:05:47 2015

Claire Altheuser writes from USA
Your first Burren mystery is one that I have included in the curriculum for the "History Through Mystery Class" which I am leading. Is there somewhere that I can find a glossary of the Irish terms that you used throughout the book? I have been able to find a few but not too many. It would help the American readers greatly. The series is a wonderful one. Would that the world would adopt the Brehon law. It was so humane.

Fri Feb 6 19:25:30 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I hope that one day, Gary, you will get a chance to visit the reality - so much more beautiful than I, or Google, can convey.
Many thanks for writing. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the book.

Wed Feb 4 14:15:15 2015

Gary Sease writes from USA
I have read all of the Mara from the Burren series and am now reading the latest, "Condemmed to Death". I am just early into it, but like all the previous books, absolutely love it. I find myself toggling back and forth between the book and Google Earth to hone in on the actual geography Cora is describing. It makes the wonderful books that much more real.

Thank you.

Tue Feb 3 23:10:44 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's very interesting. I have read that the Brehon laws have a foundation in Indo-European laws and were brought by the Celts when they arrived in Ireland.
Glad you're enjoying 'Verdict of the Court' - just off to look you up and the book that you quoted.
Many thanks for writing.

Fri Jan 30 10:16:49 2015

Sabra J. Webber writes from USA
Dear Ms.Harrison:
I am just finishing "Verdict of the Court" and thought I would share a quote I used in "Folklore Unbound." E. S. Hartland in his 1904 book on folklore wrote that an understanding of the folk laws governing land use in India would have shed light on the Irish system, but instead, “we [the English] went in with a rough hand and broke up the fabric of Irish society. . . . Elizabethan lawyers were utterly ignorant of any system of law except their own” (29).

I'm sorry to be finishing "Verdict of the Court." It's a wonderful book.

Thu Jan 29 23:37:23 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Interesting! I wonder whether other readers would agree with you, Rodney.
Fanore beach on the Burren, with the its orange sands and the mountain stream that crosses the beach, and the grey-black slabs of limestone is such an interesting place that I have wanted to write about it for a long time. It is somewhat remote from the centre of the Burren, perhaps nearer to west Corcomroe, but nevertheless part of the kingdom where Mara administers justice in the name of the ruler, King Turlough Donn, king of the three kingdoms, Thomond, Corcomroe and Burren.

Tue Jan 27 17:58:27 2015

Rodney writes from Wales UK.
Cora......I have just finished reading Condemned to Death with great pleasure......a common factor for the whole series......thank you for hours of entertainment.

HOWEVER......I have long had something of a soft spot for young Finbar as a series character and as he is not yet buried I strongly vote for his unexpected.....surprise the astonishment of all his friends.

Finbar is not really a bad boy......mearly unlucky.....and all his friends and a host of readers would love to see his cheeky smile again.

Sun Jan 25 16:59:40 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Happy New Year, Joe.

I'm glad you know Fanore. I think that it is a beautiful spot and I so enjoyed writing about it. I hope you managed to find the ruins of your ancestral castle at Gregans, as well as the later-built one at Gleninagh.

I enjoyed writing this book very much and was so pleased to see that the reviewer at the PW Magazine says about it: 'Harrison has never been better'.

Wed Dec 31 22:09:47 2014

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,
Despite Amazon listing Condemned to Death as "available Feb 1" in the US, I got it just before Christmas!
A rich read for me, especially since I'd stayed at a hostel on the Fanore shore just before climbing over Black Head and, (missing the goat trail) down over ledges and brambles by the seat of my pants to the O'Loughlin tower house at Gleninagh.
Your exploration of Mara's preoccupation with perseverating on clues while missing other drama sounded so much like my own stumbling about.
Seemed very human.
Bon apetit to all readers.

Joe O'Laughlin

Wed Dec 31 15:05:07 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It's nice to hear from you, Rita. Yes, Mara, and I, have got older. The book that I have just written (not yet published) has her celebrating her fiftieth birthday and her son, Cormac, is now thirteen years old. My last published book, in the UK, is 'Condemned to Death' and it is set at the beach at Fanore - don't know whether you have visited it when you were holidaying here, but it is one of my favourite spots on the Burren.
I wish you all the best for Christmas and for the new year.

Fri Dec 5 07:35:44 2014

rita davern writes from USA
A warm hello, Cora, and hats off to you for continuing on with this wonderful spyglass into the history of the Burren! After being away from Mara and friends for too long, I am about to start from the beginning and read the whole series from start to finish.

Thanks for sharing your great imagination and brilliant writing with the world!

Thu Dec 4 23:52:48 2014

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