Mary Pike, a young, wealthy Quaker heiress, was kidnapped in July 1797 by a widowed knight, Sir Henry Brown Hayes, intent on forcing her into marriage and getting his hands on her money. She was rescued. He fled the country but, then decided public opinion was in his favour and challenged her to face him in court. Her barrister was John Philpot Curran. Mary Pike won her case. Sadly, the history books tell us that the ordeal was too much for her. She suffered a nervous breakdown and died in a mental hospital. However, there is a lot more to the story than that!
This account is set against the background of the time before and after the 1798 Rebellion. Many people wonder, did nothing happen in Cork? A lot happened. The city is brought to life in this very readable volume.