Women Writing War: Ireland 1880-1922

Browser review

Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 00:00


Book Title:
Women Writing War: Ireland 1880-1922


Edited by Tina O’Toole, Gillian McIntosh and Muireann Ó Cinnéide

University College Dublin Press

Guideline Price:

This book comprises essays by female writers about war, from the Land War to the Civil War, from Anna Parnell’s Ladies Land League to the early years of the Irish Free State and subsequent disillusionment. Heidi Hansson’s essay is a delight, showing how unionist Emily Lawless’s gardening diary mixed concern about the progress of the Boer War with concern about her budding shoots, often in the same sentence. Jody Allen Randolph is particularly interesting on Peggie Kelly, who wrote under the pen name of Garrett O’Driscoll. We learn that the poet Eavan Boland has recently discovered that Kelly, her aunt, had written poetry and a prize-winning novel, Noreen, based on her experiences during the War of Independence. Lucy McDiarmid appears to overparse and overintellectualise women’s statements during and just after the Easter Rising. Many young women naturally felt embarrassed touching men’s wounded bodies – they were not trained nurses. Other subjects treated are Eva Gore-Booth, war poet Winifred Letts, Agnes O’Farrelly, Lia Mills, Anne Blunt and the women of the Glens of Antrim of that time.