Ryan, Meda  

Biddy Early The Wise Woman of Clare


The Wise Woman of Clare


Nestling between the Clare hills, overlooking Kilbarron Lake stands a two-roomed thatched cottage, once the home of a notorious red-headed woman called Biddy Early. Arguments persist as to whether Biddy was a witch or a person of God because she possessed powers and natural gifts beyond the comprehension of those who knew her personally.

To this day, mentioning her name in any part of Ireland, especially County Clare, releases an astonishing flood of stories, cures, prophecies, warnings and broken spells.

Four times widowed, Biddy had a 'magic bottle' that became the object of intense interest, curiosity and superstition. She always kept the bottle within reach, and whenever she travelled far from home, she kept it out of view under a shawl. She used this bottle as a clairvoyant would use a crystal ball, gazing into it to discover what she needed to know. This fascinating story of Biddy Early, The Wise Woman of Clare combines fact, legend and mystery.

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About the Author

Meda Ryan was born in West Cork and educated at University College Cork and New York City College. A historian and journalist, she is the author of many books, including The Tom Barry Story, The Day Michael Collins Was Shot and Michael Collins and the Women in His Life. She now lives with her family in Ennis, County Clare.