An interesting Story to Read: A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family

A Summary of A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family

A Summary of A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family

Our story begins with an introduction by Francis Purcell who states he is relaying the story of his friends life. He says he will write it truthfully, but has changed the characters names to protect their reputations.

The narration then switches to Purcell’s friend, Fanny. She introduces herself as the youngest of two daughters in the Richardson family, a noble household in Tyrone county, Ireland. The narrator tells of her familial relationships. Her father wished she was born a male and has little affection for her. Her mother also lacks any maternal instincts, treating Fanny like a stranger. The narrator and her sister are six years apart, though they are close.

Still a child, Fanny’s sister is married away to a man named, Mr. Carew. Our narrator is devastated by this fact, as she and her sister were quite close. The sister and Mr. Carew move away from Dublin, and sometime later the Richardsons receive word she is ill with a persistent fever. When she dies, Mr. Carew returns to the Richardsons’ home for the funeral. At this time our narrator becomes of age. She is of a care-free nature, but is besought by numerous suitors. Her father and mother are eager to marry her off, and decide a fellow nobleman, Lord Glenfallen is the right man.

Lord Glenfallen is smitten with Fanny, though she likes him, she does not love him. To please her parents and find security for herself Fanny marries Glenfallen. Once the two are married they travel to the lords home in the country. At first Fanny enjoys her new life, and in particular Glenfallens cheerful nature. Soon after, Glenfallen changes, becoming sullen and withdrawn from his wife.

With Fanny increasing isolation, she starts to hear noises within the walls. She is terrified when an old white-haired Dutchwoman sneaks into her room at night and accosts her. The crone insist she is Glenfallens wife, that Fanny’s marriage is void, and that she must leave the home at once. Frightened, Fanny approaches a friendly maid and asks about the old woman. The maid tells her to be careful. When approached, Glenfallen insists Fanny stay away from the back half of the manor.

Again, the crone appears in Fanny’s room at night, demanding she leave within a week or she’ll suffer gravely. Fanny then confronts her husband about the accusations. Glenfallen is enraged and insulted, telling her she can either leave him or remain without saying another word about the matter. Fanny decides to stay, and later that night the crone breaks into her bedroom and attempts to murder her. Fanny is injured, but survives and the hag is arrested.

Fanny’s family arrives to help her, Glenfallen is ashamed, and soon the Dutchwoman’s trial begins. She is convicted and sentenced to death, but while in court she again accuses Glenfallen of marrying her and attempting to marry Fanny. The court laughs at her claim, and the Dutchwoman is put to death. When Fanny and her husband return home, Glenfallen apologizes to her for his strange behavior, but claims to have a secret. He sends Fanny and her family out of his study for a moment. After waiting impatiently, Fanny and her family enter the study, and find an inner room. In this inner room, Glenfallen is laughing hysterically as he cuts his own head off, which ends our story.

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