Wild Irish Women is a fun and useful reference work enabling readers to rediscover some fascinating Irish women from history. There are over 70 different short biographies of women who were either born in Ireland or have an Irish connection. Included are actresses, writers, rebels, activists, wives and mistresses. Famous names like Maude Gonne and Kitty O'Shea are here along with Maria Edgeworth and Peig Sayers, but there are many less well known names also such as Christian Davies also known as Mother Ross who posed as a male soldier for fifteen years in the British army. There is the pirate Anne Bonny and Dr James Barry who also posed as men and led exciting lives travelling the world. The dancer Lola Montez mistress of composer Franz Lizt and of King Ludwig of Bavaria also makes an appearance. There are women who worked hard and yet remain relatively unknown; Biddy Early wise woman of Munster, Kathleen Behan, mother of Brendan an active member of Cumann na mBan in 1916, female athlete Lady Mary Heath, to name but a few. Written in a lively and accessible style this book will be of interest to historians and the casual reader. I would recommend this book to schools especially as a supplement to the history curriculum where the teaching of women's history could be much improved. It would make a great starting point for research for Leaving Certificate students.
Wild Irish Women in available now in paperback from O'Brien Press