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In this remarkable piece of historical detective work, Peter Marshall sets out to uncover the intriguing links between these two seemingly unconnected events.
The result is a compelling tale of dark family secrets, of efforts to suppress them, and of the ways in which they finally come to light. It is also the story of a shocking seventeenth-century Church scandal which cast its shadow over religion and politics in Britain and Ireland for the best part of three centuries, drawing in a host of well known and not-so-well-known characters along the way, including Jonathan Swift, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Walter Scott.
A fascinating story in its own right, Mother Leakey and the Bishop is also a sparkling demonstration of how the telling of stories is central to the way we remember the past, and can become part of the fabric of history itself.
Prologue: A Haunting in Minehead
1. The World of the Leakeys
2. The Leakeys' Other World Interlude: A Hanging in Dublin
3. The Devil Let Loose Off his Chain
4. The Shameful End of Bishop Atherton
5. The Penitent Death of a Woeful Sinner Interlude: In a London Coffee House
7. The Narratives of the Reverend John Quick
8. Atherton and Leakey; History and Folklore Epilogue: Mother Leakey's Parlour Cast of Characters Further Reading