Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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pauline writes from england
Interesting looking back to see the rewuest for a map as I like to know where I am! Lucky enough to have visited - briefly - and bought book of maps, but there is a good interactive map on the Burren website

Mon Feb 22 21:44:35 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Here is what I discovered re forks.

Ireland, of course, in those days, was much more influenced by Spain and the continent than by England,

'The fork as an eating utensil was introduced in the Middle East before the year 1000. First introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Theophanu, Byzantine wife of Emperor Otto II, the table fork had, by the 11th century made its way to Italy. The fork's arrival in northern Europe was more difficult. For many years it was viewed as an unmanly Italian affectation. The Roman Catholic Church expressly disapproved of its use: "God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating." It was not until the 18th century that the fork became commonly used in Great Britain.'

Mon Jan 11 13:57:03 2010

Rose writes from Wales
You mention on page 29 of 'The Sting of Justice' that Lawyer Bodkin in 1509 'placed his fork with mathematical precision in the centre of his empty plate ...'. As it is generally accepted that forks were not common in GB until the 18th century, was Ireland two centuries ahead of England at this time, is it an anachronism or is there another explanation?

Mon Jan 11 13:34:21 2010

I am a deeply impatient person, too.

And there's nothing wrong with not wanting your characters to be cardboard cutouts.

Thu Dec 31 20:56:57 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Robert, I shall have to think very carefully and seriously about this.
I confess that I am of a very impulsive and impatient disposition and tend to rush at this sort of thing. I am deeply interested in character and other aspects of the story, perhaps, get overlooked.

Thu Dec 31 19:44:37 2009

Robert writes from USA
As for an old calendar: here is Dionysius Exiguus' rule:

Argumentum 12.
If you want to find out which day of the week it is on the first day of
January, for non-leap years, then add the years since the incarnation of our
Lord Jesus Christ, say 675 years. Subtract one, 674 are left over. Divide
those into the fourth part, and add the fourth part obtained by the division
to 674, yielding 842 altogether. Divide those by 7, 2 are left over. It is
Monday on the first of January. If 5 [are left over] then [it is] Thursday,
if one, then Sunday; if nothing, Saturday.

Wed Dec 30 03:23:35 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Glenys for your message.Yes, Granuaille, was near to that period, just forty years or so later.

Happy Christmas!

Thu Dec 24 20:30:10 2009

Glenys Heath writes from UK(Cheshire)
Thankyou Cora for your wonderful Burren novels.The characters are so well drawn and I think Mara and Turlough are absolutely fantastic. So clever and painstaking but also very empathic and bringing the best out even in the villains!
I feel lost now as I have just finished Writ in Stone are there any more on the go ?Hope so. This is a fascinating period in history and in law. I am now reading Ariana Franklin love historical mysteries.
I can't think if Mara time coincides with Granuaille time but I think it was morelikely to be Elizabeth 1st.
Happy Christmas and looking forward to more books in 2010.

Thanks Glenys

Thu Dec 24 18:17:46 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm strongly tempted to say, like Captain Mainwaring in 'Dads' Army, "I'm glad someone managed to spot that!".
I suppose you got that from the Internet. I must confess that I did not know it was possible to get a calender for as early as 1509 - the Gregorian Calender was more than seventy years later.

Wed Dec 16 16:31:59 2009

Robert writes from USA
In Chapter 2 of "The Sting of Justice", Mara says, "Shall we appoint Saturday 16 November for the hearing?" What year was this? I thought this was set in the year 1509? But if so, then Mara seems to have made a calendar goof.

Wed Dec 16 11:01:16 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Katherine,

I'm glad you enjoyed MY LADY JUDGE. I loved writing it as The Burren in the month of May is magical (although these photos on my website were taken on the last day of December).
At the moment it is flooded everywhere and most of its roads blocked. Temporary lakes have suddenly appeared on valley meadows and flocks of swans have discovered them.
I hope you enjoy my other books as much.
Thank you for writing,

Mon Nov 23 14:55:17 2009

Katherine Cotoia writes from United States
Dear Cora,
I am an Irish girl living in America. It is my dream to one day visit the enchanting land of my ancestors. I want you to know that your book brought Ireland to me in a wonderful way. I loved every word of My Lady Judge and I look forward to reading your other books as well.
I am an avid reader and I thank you for this wonderful book!
Brightest Blessings,

Mon Nov 23 12:39:06 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Norma,

The best book that I found was Fergus Kelly's Early Irish Law - and another by him, Early Irish Farming, is good also if you get hooked.

I must say that I love Cornwall - and I think that love was triggered by the Daphne du Maurier books.

I've seen the actual manuscript written by the students at Cahermacnaghten law school. It's in the British Library. It was like entering Fort Knox to be allowed to look at it - but very worthwhile.

Best wishes,


Sat Nov 14 17:04:57 2009

Norma Holland writes from Kernow (Cornwall)
Hi Cora,
Just to say thanks for your marvellous books. I always feel quite lost when I finish one!
I discovered your books when, after coming across Cahermacnaghten whilst on holiday and being intrigued by it, I looked it up online and also found your books which bring it and everywhere around so much to life.
I have always meant to find out more about Brehon law and now of course it's a must!
I wonder if you could recommend a good book on it (but not in Latin!)?
Thanks again

Sat Nov 14 16:03:12 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Donald,
It was nice of you to write and say how much you enjoyed the two books.
Personally I thought it was ridiculous to change 'Michaelmas Tribute'. I think it was a more intriguing title and also more indicative of the story. I think that titles, especially when a series is involved, should give clues to what the book is about. Also, at least one person bought 'A Secret & Unlawful Killing' after having bought 'Michaelmas Tribute'. S/he was annoyed enough to put a one star review on Amazon!

I hope you enjoy 'The Sting of Justice' when it does come out in US - fortunately with the same title as in the UK - and bees are important in it!

Tue Oct 6 09:37:43 2009

Donald Thomas writes from USA
Dear Cora,

I recently came across your series while doing a search for new (to me) authors of Medieval fiction/mysteries, and I have read the first two, enjoying them immensely.

Can you tell me why publishers often change the name of a book when it is published here in the US? Those of us who are familiar with this genre know perfectly well what Michaelmas is, for example.

I sometimes wonder if some of these publishers think we are all stupid over here!

Keep up the great work.

Sun Oct 4 01:55:03 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Ann,

Apparently it is the publisher who gives permission to use anything from my books - so write or email them. -if it is a Macmillan book.

Good luck with your book,


Wed Sep 30 10:16:07 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Kevin,

Many congratulations. Selsted is a lovely school and I have very many happy memories of it.

As to the girl who was struck by lightning when touching the steel rope which rang the school bell, I think it was in the log book for that era - probably in Maidstone now.
However, this is about thirty years ago now so I may be wrong. I do remember that lots of the elderly residents in the Swingfield/Selsted area remembered it clearly.
Mrs Reynolds (Hawkes) who was caretaker of the school and lived in the schoolhouse, told me, I'm pretty sure, that her mother was there at the time.

Sorry I can be of no more help - do keep in touch, though, if anything else occurs to you.

I wonder whether the trees my class grew from acorns and a chestnut in 1976 are still there? I remember that Stevie Hawkes, the mother of two of your pupils, planted the horse chestnut one!

Best of luck with everything,


Tue Sep 29 15:06:54 2009

Kevin Bailey writes from England
Dear Cora
Please excuse this message out of the blue.
I'm the new head of Selsted Primary and I was reading a booklet you wrote about the area of Swingfield some years back.
In it you mention a child at the school struck by lightening. Can you tell me the information source for this please? Our top class wish to carry out a study of the school in Victorian times so it would be good to have a starting point we can look at.
Many thanks Kevin Bailey

Tue Sep 29 05:20:55 2009

Cora Harrison
Dear Ann,

Which poem was it? If you'd let me know then I could help you further.
Thanks for your interest.

Mon Sep 28 13:56:12 2009

Dear Cora,

I was just wondering if you would have an email address that I could contact you on, regarding usage of one of your poems in a book? Or would I be better off contacting the publishing house (?) directly?

Sorry for posting to the message board but I couldn't find any other contact details for you!

Thanks in advance - I look forward to hearing back from you.


Mon Sep 28 10:35:40 2009

Janet Briggs writes from England
Dear Cora
Thank you for your message about maps of the Burren in your books. A map would certainly help me to understand better the relationship between the various places in the book - sometimes this is important. Publishers manage it with other authors, am I right in thinking that Peter Tremayne sometimes has a map in his books?

A map drawn by you would be most acceptable and I look forward to seeing one one day!

Kind regards

Wed Sep 23 14:14:35 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Janet,

I have actually mentioned that to my publishers a few times, but they were not keen.

I suppose it might be possible to put a map on this website - it might be just a bit amateur - drawn by me, but it would give an idea of what is where for those who do not know the Burren.

What do you think?

Many thanks for your praise for the series,


Thu Sep 17 18:10:26 2009

Janet Briggs writes from England
Dear Cora
I'm so pleased I read about your books in my paper, I am loving them - I'm reading The Sting of Justice at the moment. I just how wonder if the Brehon law would work today, but it would be worth a try! I have just one request, could you have a map of the Burren printed in the books? It would be so helpful to be able to follow Mara's travels, and to see where the characters live.

Wed Sep 16 15:10:49 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Bruce. Your message has inspired in me a thought that it would be very interesting if someone would write a history of Brehon law starting from its probable origins and ending in its demise in the 16th/17th century.
That, I think, is probably for Peter Tremayne to do - he is the historian; I am just a teller of tales with a deep interest in Brehon law.

Wed Sep 2 15:21:20 2009

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