Irene Cary, oldest daughter in a family of twenty-one children, is sent out into the world from Ireland to make her way as an indentured servant. Determined to survive and prosper, she has the good fortune to be picked out of a crowd in London by Mary Dyer. Having just purchased a share in the Massachusetts Bay Company Charter, the Dyers are sailing to the new world where they hope to find a community knit together as one. Yet, when they land, they find the settlement divided over religious issues. While Irene pleads to save her from her course, Mary Dyer martyrs herself for the cause of freedom. Based on the true story of New England’s rebel saint, Mary was escorted under armed guard to the hanging tree and strung up with the noose around her neck. Her two companions dropped to their deaths, but when her turn came, she was given a last-minute reprieve and released to the custody of her husband. As more of her friends were tortured, maimed, and then sentenced to death, she returned once more, carrying her shroud in hand, to "look their bloody law in the face." The second time, Governor Endicott ignored her husband’s pleas and put her to death. Mary Dyer’s action constitutes the first great act of civil disobedience to take place on American soil. Irene narrates her sense of powerless devotion to a mistress she adored, but failed to save.
About Elizabeth S. Brinton
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Published April 1, 2004
by Burd Street Pr.
History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality.