April's Book of the Month: 'The Doctor's Wife is Dead'

Pat Kenny and the Eason Book Club will read the true crime book by Andrew Tierney

April's Book of the Month: 'The Doctor's Wife is Dead'


After last month’s exploration of the immigrant experience in modern-day America, the Eason Book Club on The Pat Kenny Show turns its focus to Irish historical non-fiction for April to read Andrew Tierney’s The Doctor’s Wife is Dead.

In 1849, a woman called Ellen Langley died in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. She was the wife of a prosperous local doctor. So why was she buried in a pauper's coffin? Why had she been confined to the grim attic of the house she shared with her husband, and then exiled to a rented dwelling-room in an impoverished part of the famine-ravaged town? And why was her husband charged with murder?

Following every twist and turn of the inquest into Ellen Langley's death and the trial of her husband, The Doctor's Wife is Dead tells the story of an unhappy marriage, of a man's confidence that he could get away with abusing his wife, and of the brave efforts of a number of ordinary citizens to hold him to account. Andrew Tierney has produced a tour de force of narrative nonfiction that shines a light on the double standards of Victorian law and morality and illuminates the weave of money, sex, ambition and respectability that defined the possibilities and limitations of married life. It is a gripping portrait of a marriage, a society and a shocking legal drama.

Find out more about Andrew Tierney's book, as well as the other reads selected by Eason for April, here.

Mary, Katherine, and Brian will be live in Newstalk’s Dublin studio to pore over the mystery of Ellen Langley’s death on Thursday, April 13th.

To listen back to last month’s book club segment on Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers, please click on the embedded podcast below:

For more books news on Newstalk.com, please click here.