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

The Killing of Major Denis Mahon is the riveting true story of a controversial murder that casts new light on the Great Irish Famine At the height of the famine now considered the greatest social disaster to strike nineteenth century Europe, Anglo Irish landlord Major Denis Mahon from County Roscommon was assassinated as he drove his carriage through his property, which wThe Killing of Major Denis Mahon is the riveting true story of a controversial murder that casts new light on the Great Irish Famine At the height of the famine now considered the greatest social disaster to strike nineteenth century Europe, Anglo Irish landlord Major Denis Mahon from County Roscommon was assassinated as he drove his carriage through his property, which was filled with thousands of starving tenants Mahon had removed 3,000 of his 12,000 tenants by offering some passage to America aboard disease ridden coffin ships, giving others a pound or two to leave peaceably, and sending the sheriff to evict the rest His murder sparked a sensation and drove many of the world s most powerful leaders, from the queen of England to the pope, to debate its meaning.Award winning journalist Peter Duffy tells, for the first time, the story of the assassination and its connection to the cataclysm that would forever change Ireland and America With full access to historical records, including Mahon s private papers, government documents, and extensive court and police files, Duffy tries to uncover the truth about Mahon s murder and the role he did or did not play in the sufferings of his tenants, while also shedding new light on the horrific struggles of the starving and impoverished Irish.Gripping, revealing, and heartbreaking, The Killing of Major Denis Mahon is the incredible investigation of the great, unsatisfactorily solved crime of Irish history, and a fresh examination of the horrors of the Great Famine.
The Killing of Major Denis Mahon A Mystery of Old Ireland The Killing of Major Denis Mahon is the riveting true story of a controversial murder that casts new light on the Great Irish Famine At the height of the famine now considered the greatest social disa

  • Title: The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland
  • Author: Peter Duffy
  • ISBN: 9780060840501
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland”

    1. Ten pounds of potatoes a day. According to this book, that's the input of your average Irish person. Astounding. I actually don't/can't believe it. When I told my coworkers, they called me a liar. I said I read it in a book. Other than that, I did not enjoy this reading experience. As the title implies - er, as the title expressly states - this is about the murder (from ambush!) of Denis Mahon, a Roscommon County landlord. The book's not really a murder mystery, because they convicted some fello [...]

    2. "The Killing of Major Dennis Mahon" covers a well-worn period of Irish history, the famine and agrarian "outrages" of secret societies. At the time, a media-sensation swirled around the murder, inquest and trial that stretched from County Roscommon (near the epicenter of the famine in Connaught) to the media organs of Dublin and London. Duffy's treatment is eminently readable, and highlights the peculiarity of the event's durability as something wonky and irreducible to contemporary/modern minds [...]

    3. A fascinating story of the murder of a landlord at the height of the potato famine; could have been more skilfully told. It drags at times as the author quotes (and re-quotes) extensively from personal correspondence, then skims over the trial of the accused killers. I've read similarly structured books, where the author uses a specific case to look at the history and issues of the time, that have been better written. Still, this one will probably stick with me for a long time: I keep thinking o [...]

    4. An interesting look into the Irish potato famine with the story following one particular family estate (Mahon). The book shares a lot of information about this devasting period in Ireland and the British reaction. The author leverages handwritten letters and newspaper clippings from the mid 1800s to frame the storyline.A neat way to re-visit history, but it was not a real life murder-mystery like the book jacket might lead to believe. The death of Major Mahon is the focus, but no surprises or pl [...]

    5. Duffy's book about a real murder of Irish landlord Major Denis Mahon, is used to explore the deaths of hundreds of thousands of poor Irish people during the great potato famine of the late 1840's. The depiction of the cruelty that the Irish people suffered at the hands of their "landlords" is horrific. Duffy's estimates suggest as many as three million people disappeared, either through emigration or starvation.The most interesting part of the book were the ships who brought the sick, starving i [...]

    6. If you're into Irish history, then this book will interest you to no end. While it is centered around the killing of one Major Denis Mahon, a landlord who had to deal with the great potato famine, it is more generally a look at the beginnings of the modern Irish "state" through those times that threatened to break Ireland. I am simply not that interested in that time, so I found it to be, while well-written and documented, rather boring.

    7. Duffy's research paints a vivid picture of the events leading up to and during the Irish Potato famine of the 1840's. He follows an upperclass family's string of patriarchs, their choices in managing their land and the consequences of those decisions. It gives a good historical perspective that is not only relevant to the Irish, but to North Americans who assimilated the famine refugees. It is a good historical read.

    8. In an absorbing microhistory, Duffy uses the shooting of Mahon, a landlord in 1847 County Roscommon to examine the catastrophic effects of the Potato Famine and the mass removal of tenants, as well as the international attention that followed the investigation. The ample records of the trial allow for a dissection of the entire community, from Mahon's extended elite social network to the diaspora of Irish peasants moved out on "coffin ships" for America.

    9. I supposed I would have appreciated this book more if it had actually been more about the Irish Potato Famine, and less about the murder of Denis Mahon. There's a lot of interesting information here about the circumstances that led to the murder, but the primary focus of the book was on the crime, which I felt could have been covered in about half the pages.

    10. Good solid research presented by a pretty good writer. I'm not sure anything is really solved here, but it's worth a read if you happen to be interested in this kind of thing ("for people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they will like").

    11. For a topic that has always fascinated me - Ireland during the Famine - This book was a real slog. A few bits where I could stay focused and interested, but mostly I finished it because I felt I should.

    12. Complex but very informative; I had a hard time getting into it and then I couldn't put it down. I learned a great deal about the Irish Potato famine and the political upheaval of that time.

    13. Detailed telling of a murder, a series of trials and a genocide. I had to read this in the month of St Patrick's, when awareness of Irish heritage is at its peak.

    14. I learned a lot about the Irish Potato Famine from this book. The book reads like a dissertation. Duffy packed in so many facts; they reduced some of the emotional impact of the tragedy.

    15. Interesting history of the Irish Famine through the murder of one man. It's a little too dry for me-I would have preferred more real people stories.

    16. This was very hard to get through but I learned a little about the potatoe famine in Ireland and a lot of history.

    17. very interesting read, lots of background, recommend to anyone interested in the Irish emmigration to North America.

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