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The Doctor's Wife Is Dead: The True Story of a Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and the Murder Trial that Shocked Ireland
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The Doctor's Wife Is Dead: The True Story of a Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and the Murder Trial that Shocked Ireland

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A mysterious death in respectable society: a brilliant historical true crime story

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
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 23rd 2017 by Penguin Ireland
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Katy
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Originally posted here.

Okay. So this was quite the depressing read. It is a true crime non-fiction about the suspicious death of a doctor's wife in Nenagh, Ireland in 1849. The poor woman was placed in the cheapest coffin available and without a shroud, left to rot in the garden, amongst trash, for two days before being buried in an unmarked grave in the local churchyard. Scandalous and terrible treatment of a loved one's body for the time. Of course, the locals were suspicious that the doctor h
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Thebooktrail
Visit the settings in the novel: The Doctor's Wife is Dead

Well this was interesting! A crime I’d never heard of and a location I’d never been to. Two for the price of one you might say – I found it fascinating to read about the time and period in which the crime took place. How doctors were almost forced to attend inquiries, how many coffins were carried out of the doors, how violence of the reforms of the time lead to such bitter disputes and death. As with many of these historical crime, I was
...more
Amy
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to come!
Cleopatra  Pullen
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
On 1 May 1849 Ellen Langley dies in Nengh, County Tipperary the local women gather and stone the house she was living in. Meanwhile Doctor Langley tried to go about the business of removing Ellen’s body from the house; he did, she spent two days in the garden.

This is the account of one woman’s life, a fairly indistinct figure and her sad demise and one that serves as a commentary on how women were both viewed and treated at this time, with a focus on the laws in Ireland at the time. It is clear,
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Katie
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I did not enjoy reading this book. The story itself about a man who hates his wife and tries many times to divorce her or cause her death is interesting. However I found the way the story was told to be very boring. The problem is that this book was about a factual event in history and therefor has to be fully historically accurate. This meant that the book was full of a lot of unnecessary information, or waffle, for want of a better word. I love history but this book was too drawn out and it to ...more
Bridget
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I had seen a synopsis of this book and wanted to read it, but I never thought it would turn out to be so timely. As I was reading this, the hearings were happening to determine whether or not Brett Kavanaugh would be made the next Supreme Court Justice, in spite of the testimony against him by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, who was assaulted by him as a teenager. Results seem to indicate that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

But on to this particular book. In the mid-1840s, a woma
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Janet Emson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books, reviewed
1849 and Mrs Langley, the doctor’s wife, is dead. But why had she been made to live in the attic of her home and why had she previously been sent to live in a poor part of town? The Doctor’s Wife is Dead follows the trial of Dr Langley and the reactions of family and friends to the treatment of Mrs Langley.

At first I wasn’t totally engaged with the book. There are many people to feature in the lives of Dr and Mrs Langley, and it was difficult to differentiate between family members, legal adviso
...more
Mairin Delaney
This book would have been absolutely enthralling if I was from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, or its environs. I think I would have hung onto absolutely every word and place name etc. It's a very detailed book and I found myself glossing over quite a few details because I didn't relate to the places. However, it was a fascinating insight into the subservience of women at that time and to how some people seemed to be very unaffected by the famine. I definitely learned a few things despite the local-ness o ...more
Natasha
A bit rambling and difficult to read. The background of the story is limited and it felt very rushed. I would have liked a more structured approach, the background of the people involved and how things came to the point they did as opposed to on this day this then this then this then this and he said this and she said that and then they were all shocked and then all this happened.... it just didn’t feel like the author was interested in the crime in the book, and pushed in facts about Ireland’s ...more
Todayiamadaisy
This is a workmanlike telling of an absolutely gobsmacking murder trial in Ireland in 1849. I finished this with a lot of questions unanswered.
Maria Flaherty
Well written, just not for me.
Katherine  O'Meara Reynolds
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant research went into this. Very highly recommend, especially if you have a background or interest in 19th c. Irish social history.
Candace
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shocking that women were treated so poorly, but the narrative moved too slowly for me.
Helen Carolan
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent read. Tells of Dr Langley who starved his wife to death in the 1840's. It also covers the horrors women were often forced to endure while married and the fact that the had no rights what-so-ever. It also deals with the differences between the wealthy and the Irish peasantry during the famine. Enjoyed this one.
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