The essay collection Women Writing War: Ireland 1880-1922, edited by Tina O’Toole, Gillian McIntosh & Muireann O’Cinnéide, was launched in UL on 25th November. The collection is the outcome of a collaborative international project on women’s writing and conflict.
Women’s literary expressions of war have long been neglected and at times forgotten in Irish scholarship. In Women Writing War: Ireland 1880-1922 many of these forgotten women are revealed through their writings as culturally active and deeply invested in the political and military struggles of their turbulent times. From the Land Wars to the Boer Wars, from the First World War to the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, the fascinating women considered in this volume-grapple with the experiential representation of conflicts. The diverse range of topics explored include: women’s eye- witness accounts of 1916, Winifred Letts’s First World War poetry, the political rhetoric and experiences of Anna Parnell and Anne Blunt during the Land War, Peggie Kelly’s fiction and Cumann na mBan activism, the cultural nationalism of northern. Protestant “New Women” of the Glens of Antrim, Una Ni Fhaircheallaigh’s Irish language activism in and beyond the Gaelic League, Emily Lawless’s Boer War diary as well as the dramatic collaboration of sisters Eva Gore-Booth and Countess Markievicz.The book also includes a preface by historian Margaret Ward and an extract from Lia Mills’s award-winning historical novel Fallen, set in Dublin during the Easter Rising (selected as the 2016 ‘One City One Book’ choice for both Dublin and Belfast).Engaging with recent Scholarly debates on sexuality, war writing, and the politics of Irish warfare, the authors of Women Writing War explore the ways in which conflict narratives have been read – and interpreted – as deeply gendered. Radicals, revolutionaries and queer activists, as well as women who remained attached to the domestic sphere, are all represented in this original and provocative volume on the relationship between women and conflict.