Friday, 22 July 2011

The History of The Abduction Club: Part 4

If you missed out on reading the first parts you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Part 4: The Story of the film 

So how much of the actual storyline of the film is true. After researching and reflecting on the film, its actually not as accurate as I had hoped. Some characters were true enough I suppose but I am a little upset at the ending of the film- it is not like the film at all and some of the characters traits -goodness me they are too different.

*NOTE: If you are reading because you want to find out that 'The Abduction Club' (the film) was based upon a true love story and that just as in the film they rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after- you may not like what you find. As I have stated above the film ending is significantly different to the real life ending-  I am just warning you, in the case you do not want to continue to read (which is fine)

Okay, so you do want to know. Curiosity always seems to get the better of us, doesn't it :) well here is. I have researched the story and condensed it to make a little easier to read.  

Byrne and Strang both 'won' the rights to abduct the Kennedy sisters and in preparation of the abduction met the girls at various social events.  It was not long before both Anne and Catharine had fallen in love with them. It is even said that the girls were so pleased by the gentlemen that they actually encouraged and invited them to abduct them as earliest convenience.
When the time came for the abduction to take place, at a play, the sister's  mother was informed of the plan and was not pleased so she immediately took her daughters home. This presented little problem for Strang and Byrne who then went to the house and abducted the girls from there.
They travelled on horseback accompanied by other ladies whom were the sisters or relatives of Byrne or Strang and some men who formed the club. Catharine and Anne were terrified on this journey as they were threatened with abandonment if they refused the proposals of the men.
The young girls consented to marry the men and the vows were made by a priest promptly. It is said that they continued as a group on horse back for some five weeks until the girls were rescued by a Mr. Power while the men fled to Wales.
It was not thought that the men would be pursued but justice was needed and they were brought back and a trial was set-were both found guilty and were to be sent to death.
What did Anne and Catharine think of all this?Well, Anne wanted Strang's death, it is said that whilst on the run Strang hit Anne and she never forgave him for it. Catharine however was very attached to Byrne, it is quite possible that she was in love with him. He was never unkind or treated her ill- besides the manner in which he first abducted her.
Despite Byrne and Strang's family connections, public support and the fact that abduction was such common a thing, they were both hanged. It was feared that at the time of execution due to the public there would be a rescue but there never was.

And what became of Anne and Catharine? Anne's fate was a sad one, although she grew into a great beauty and married, she was miserable until the day she died. Many believing that her unhappy life was the punishment for her ill thoughts towards Strang.
Catharine's life was also one of unhappiness. She also married, a man who claimed to be haunted by Byrne as he slept- funnily enough he always kept a light burning at night, his safety measure. Catharine lived an unhappy life, she lost her youth and beauty fast, and started a habit of smoking to dull the pain of her past.   
Both women lived their lives scorned upon by the townspeople due to receiving 'blood money' (called so by the townsfolk) which was in the form of a handout from the government- a compensation for the horror they had experienced.

Well, there you have it- personally I like the film better. I admit I do love a tragic love story but unfortunately this just isn't one. It is just a terrible and sad story of an event that forever negatively impacted upon all those involved. 

I hope that you enjoyed this series of posts and that they didn't alter too much your view of the film.


Miss Laurie said...

Wow! What a story! While I kind of wished they had told the real story I am also very grateful that the movie makers took the sad events of an interesting story and reinvented it to make one amazing film! It's almost like giving the Kennedy sisters and their beaus the happy ending they should have had. I wonder if the actors and crew knew the real story while they were filming.
Thanks so much for researching this and giving us the facts! Did you find this information in various articles as well? This has been a very interesting series and a delightful week!

~Miss Laurie :)

Mel said...

I loved that line you wrote "It's almost like giving the Kennedy sisters and their beaus the happy ending they should have had" It's so true! :)
I found the majority of the information for these posts just doing a little research online. One site/article would lead me to another and so forth. I also looked at various poetry, folklore and history books. I was a little disappointed however that I couldn't get my hands on one particular book "Forcibly Without Her Consent: Abductions in Ireland, 1700-1850 " I believe it would have given such insight. but who knows I still may find it one day :)
I am so glad you enjoyed this series. Thank you for reading them and commenting :)