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About the author:
The author Donncha McSharry holds a Master's degree in the history of modern Britain, with emphasis on relations with Ireland. McSharry has lived in Ireland, and has visited many times since. The McSharrys trace their roots to County Leitrim, although the author also has ancestors from Galway and Roscommon; and according to family lore, an ancestor known as Freney the Robber.


The Robber, His Wife, and Ireland -- A Novel of the Irish Robin Hood

Authored by Donncha McSharry

The true-life adventures of James Freney of Ballyduff and his wife Áine, and their struggles in 1700's Ireland. Our forgotten folk hero gallops the roads of Kilkenny again in this fanciful, betimes amusing, and even mystical tale of derring-do and destiny.

This telling of Freney's tale imagines a 1797 edition of his autobiography-an edition where his wife Áine finally has her say, by including excerpts from her secret diary, various letters, and the like. In history she played a crucial role in the trials that ended it all, the details of which have been lost. This book fills the gaps in her story.

Freney uses his wits to evade capture, struggling against his chief pursuer (a landed gentleman magistrate), and fighting to instill in his gang his thieves' code of honor. In public he keeps up the appearance of respectability, while on the highway he remains ever the courteous thief, willing to return money and objects of sentimental value to his victims-and always remains ready to help the poor.

Áine McSorley grows up in Waterford, within the walls of the old city, the daughter of shopkeepers. She reads, keeps a diary, and avoids the ne'er-do-well city lads. Then one day an impetuous young man from County Kilkenny steps into the shop.

Freney became a hero to the people of his day, with his celebrity remaining for some 150 years as the "Bold Captain Freney" of folktale, song, and literature. Alas, by the twentieth century even the Irish had forgotten him.

Highwayman revives his memory, and gives voice to his wife in the bargain. What better way to gallop with him along the close, mountain roads, do battle with the oppressive authorities, escape across the River Nore, and traipse through Lackingorrah Wood to his secret cache? How else to have the robber and his wife meet the old woman Éiru herself (she the spirit of Ireland who appears only to Irish patriots)? And how else could we have put words into his mouth, when, after all, he must speak?

Publication Date:
1453810765 / 9781453810767
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Historical / General

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