You Will Dye at Midnight

Victorian Threatening Letters

Donal McCracken

Victorian Ireland was global champion of threatening letters. This book reveals the murky world where tens of thousands of these letters and notices were nailed to barn doors or sent by penny post, intimidating, giving ‘fair warning' and terrorising the recipients.
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Wordwell Books
Language:
English
Illustration :
35 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913934163
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$25.00

Overview
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Victorian Ireland was global champion of threatening letters. This book reveals the murky world where tens of thousands of these letters and notices were nailed to barn doors or sent by penny post, intimidating, giving ‘fair warning’ and terrorizing the recipients. These victims were sometimes landlords, land agents, and land grabbers. Equally, they could be small farmers disputing land occupancy with neighbors.

This book examines the nature, extent, and context of this unusual trend. It investigates who sent threatening letters and why they sent them. It also delves into who received such unwelcome correspondence and what action they took, giving new insights particularly into 19th-century rural Ireland.

About The Author
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Donal McCracken was born and educated in Ireland. Having been dean of humanities for many years, he is a senior professor of history in the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. His books include Gardens of Empire: Botanical Institutions of the Victorian British Empire (University of Leicester Press/Cassell), MacBride’s Brigade: Irish Commandos in the Anglo–Boer War (Four Courts Press), Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo–Boer War (Ulster Heritage Foundation), Saving the Zululand Wilderness: An Early Struggle for Nature Conservation (Jacana) and Inspector Mallon: Buying Irish Patriotism for a Five-Pound Note (Irish Academic Press). He is editor of the series, Southern African–Irish Studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and sometime chair of the Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives Advisory Board and of the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust. He is a former Irish universities’ debating champion and South African Genealogist of the Year. Having lived through the worst of the Northern Ireland ‘troubles’ and then witnessed the closing years of the South African struggle against apartheid, Donal McCracken holds strongly to the axiom that people are generally better than their opinions. His interest in war stems not from any fascination with armaments, strategy or perceived heroism but rather from the fact that war creates extraordinary and unique situations where ordinary people must often question and even sacrifice their established norms and certainties.

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