Myth begins to unravel when Maureen Murphy, a romantic novelist who lives in ch teau in France, decides to base her next book on the tale of Irish folk hero, Cormac O'Flaherty. Cormac was a jockey who, in the years before the great famine of the 1840s, married his landlord's daughter, Marianne McLeod. Maureen's interest is heightened because Cormac and Marianne lived in the Claghan district of South Armagh where she herself was brought up. Her oldest friend, Kathleen O'Flaherty, is a direct descendant of the Cormac of the story.Briege Duffaud's account of the interweaving of simple myth and complex truth in the lives of the modern O'Flahertys and McLeods makes an absolutely compelling story. Women's voices predominate in this witty, rueful and intensely readable novel which explores the national ambiguities, the facts and the fictions, of Irish life durning the last sixty years. It is as eloquent about the London of the Swinging sixties as it is about troubled Ulster.From the voices of Maureen, Lizzie, Kathleen and Sarah we hear echoes of the sad mockery in Patrick Kavanagh's lines:"They put a wreth upon the deadFor the dead will wear the cap of any racket".
Used availability for Briege Duffaud's A Wreath Upon the Dead
September 1993 : UK Hardback
September 1994 : UK Paperback