The Abbey Yard: An Original Literary Work and a Multi-Genre Stage Play, Novel and Film Script Launches a New Website

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The Abbey Yard, by Patricia M. Mahon, an original Irish literary work based upon actual historical events has launched a new genre of writing called the "Fantorical" as well as a new website. An Historical Fantasy, The Abbey Yard, explores events in a small Irish town dating back to the 16th century as well as three generations of Irish women. The story is presented as an original stage play, screenplay and a novel.

An Original Irish Fantasy by PM MAHON

This new website based upon the story of The Abbey Yard should broaden the reach of this truly fascinating tale that explores Irish History, Irish Women, and the compelling creatures of Irish Folklore in ways never explored in contemporary writing.

Based upon the life of Sarah Holden Connelly Mahon (1903-1996), The Abbey Yard (http://www.theabbeyyard.com) is the story of young Sadie Connelly who is left parentless in rural Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. Sadie’s mother dies in childbirth and her father, a handsome Irish horse trader named John Holden, mysteriously disappears. Holden is an accused British sympathizer that has been banished from the small town and apparently murdered. The story opens upon his rumored return to Graignamanagh (The Village of the Monks) over 12 years later.

The Abbey Yard is set in an atmosphere of hot political rhetoric just prior to the Irish Uprising of 1916. Sadie is a precocious twelve year old girl that runs the lush hills of “Graig” while also being inexplicably drawn to the ancient cemetery surrounding the 13th century Duiske Abbey at the village center. The Abbey emits a distinct, audible “chant” believed to be the “singing of vespers” of the ancient monks that were slaughtered there in the main Nave in 1536 by soldiers of Elizabeth I. According to historical accounts, the monks continued to chant in unison as they lost their heads to the sword.

After several secret, late-night visits to “the Yard” with her timid friend Jennie Fury, Sadie encounters a handsome, young “gentleman from the city.” She initially flees in fear, only to return and later engage the man in lengthy conversation. Her description of him sets off a frenzy of unnatural activity and sparks an impassioned search for John Holden that fails to turn up any living thing, but instead unearths shocking local scandals, nationalistic passions, theological doubt, and the enduring mysteries that crowd the Celtic twilight.

The Abbey Yard is narrated by Bartholomew Beag Ailill O’Tuathalain, a local Luchorpan who sits outside the back door of The Dew Drop Inn desperately trying to give away his gold. He believes that he is uniquely qualified to tell what he concludes to be an “historic clash between Irish faith and Irish faeries.” Bartholomew recounts the tragic story of the monks and describes how on certain nights, when the wind and moon are quite right, you can still hear them sing. But on those same nights, Bartholomew claims, one can also see those that have been in “Graig” long before the French monks ever crossed Coppenagh Gap to build a new abbey by the stream. For right alongside the old cobblestone roads of the monastery, run the mythical faery paths of Graignamanagh and in the very same breath that one hears accounts of the Irish saints and scholars, one also hears tales of the Celtic faeries and luchorpans.

The Abbey Yard is rich in folklore and filled with vivid mythological creatures. It is teeming with troupes of small, Celtic faeries, wood elves and pixies as well as the Banshee, the Dullahan, the Phooka, The Brownie, and The Merrow... there is much for the eyes and the ears to enjoy in this captivating narrative. The original story of The Abbey Yard is a multi-genre work which was first presented as a Los Angeles stage play in 2000. It was adapted to an award-winning screenplay in 2004 and has been recently penned into a new-generation Fantasy novel called a “Fantorical.” Details and excerpts of the play, script and book are available at http://www.theabbeyyard.com.

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Patricia Mahon

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