The crossdresser from Dublin who tricked the British Army

Christian Davies donned her missing husband’s clothes and went to war to find him

Even after she found her husband, Christian Davies continued  her soldier’s life until she fractured her skull at the Battle of Ramillies.

Even after she found her husband, Christian Davies continued her soldier’s life until she fractured her skull at the Battle of Ramillies.

Historical stories of cross-dressing never fail to fascinate. Ideas of what constitutes “normal” sexual identity have shifted over the centuries. Christian Davies is a unique Irish example, in that we hear her account ostensibly in her own voice, as recounted to Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe in The Life and Adventures of Mrs Christian Davies.  

“I had too much Mercury in me, to lead a sedentary life,” Davies tells Defoe. Born Christian Cavanagh in Dublin in 1667 and raised on a farm near Leixlip by industrious parents, her upbringing was comfortable, her education sound. But Davies was happier breaking a horse than doing needle-point: “…my inclinations, while a Girl, were always masculine.”

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