Nominated by:

Cork City Libraries, Ireland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Somerville Press, Ireland

The Diary of Mary Travers

Eibhear Walshe    

2016 Longlist

It is April 1895 and Oscar Wilde is on trial in London at the Old Bailey, following his libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, and faces ruin, public disgrace and imprisonment. In County Cork, a woman called Mary Travers is following the Wilde Trials in the newspapers, increasingly troubled by the growing public outcry. Mary Travers has her own secret, her hidden connection with Oscar Wilde and his parents, William and Jane, and dreads discovery and exposure. Unknown to those around her, in 1864, as a young woman, she had been the key figure in a notorious court case in Dublin, in which she sued Jane Wilde for libel, and the resulting scandal filled the newspapers for weeks. In this new novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, this controversial case is re-imagined for the first time through the eyes of the central figure, Mary Travers, and in her diary she reveals her own part in this scandal, her unhappy home life and her intimate connection with two of the most celebrated writers of her time, William and Jane Wilde.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Eibhear Walshe was born in Waterford, studied in Dublin, and now lives in Cork, where he lectures in the School of English at University College Cork. He has published in the area of memoir, literary criticism and biography, and his books include Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life, Oscar’s Shadow : Wilde and Ireland, and A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Tóibín. His childhood memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir was broadcast on RTE’s Book on One.

Librarian’s Comments

The Diary of Mary Travers gives us what we want in historical fiction – information and entertainment in a fascinating and beautifully crafted story of human and historical interest.

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