Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Ireland, County Carlow

A Class Apart

A Class Apart

Why a Booktrail?

1828:Ireland is in turmoil as Irish tenants protest against their upper-class English landlords.


  • ISBN: 978-1987733327
  • Genre: Historical, Sagas

What you need to know before your trail

Nineteen-year-old Bridget Muldowney is thrilled to return to the estate in Carlow she’ll inherit when she comes of age. But since she left for Dublin seven years earlier, the tomboy has become a refined young lady, engaged to be married to a dashing English gentleman.

Cormac McGovern, now a stable hand on the estate, has missed his childhood friend. He and Bridget had once been thick as thieves, running wild around the countryside together.

When Bridget and Cormac meet again their friendship begins to rekindle, but it’s different now that they are adults. Bridget’s overbearing mother, determined to enforce the employer-servant boundaries, conspires with Bridget’s fiancé to keep the pair apart.

With the odds stacked against them, can Bridget and Cormac’s childhood attachment blossom into something more?

Travel Guide

Country Carlow

Travel Guide from the author:

The entire book takes place on a country estate in County Carlow. Oakleigh Manor itself is a fictional place but it is based on the numerous big houses dotted around Ireland, many of which are connected to the country’s history from the time when English landlords took ownership of Irish lands during the plantations. To give you a specific example (albeit from a later period), I visited Palmerstown House and the photos are attached on the gallery below.

As for the political and geographical background, there was an Irish rebellion in 1798 which still affects the characters thirty years later in 1828 when my book is set. A lot of that rebellion took place in the south-east of the country, particular County Wexford, which is just over the border from Carlow. I chose Carlow because it was also touched by the rebellion but I could create some fictional aspects to the Carlow rebels’ involvement.

Do be sure to visit Carlow County Museum and Russborough House. Russborough House is in County Wicklow, another county that borders Carlow, and it is a beautiful example of a historical big house. I shot a video on the grounds of it when I was in college and the grandeur of it was definitely something I tried to emulate with Oakleigh Manor.

Another place, although it’s a bit further afield, is Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare. The Folk Park is a reconstruction of an Irish village and has examples of old Irish cottages and farmhouses, which are representative of the kinds of places where the lower class characters in my novel live. There is also Bunratty House which served as further inspiration for Oakleigh.

Trail Gallery

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  A Class Apart

Destination : Ireland, County Carlow  Author/Guide: Susie Murphy  Departure Time: 1828

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