Thinking in Public || Gendered Rebellions

Download Thinking in Public || Gendered Rebellions

Post on 20-Jan-2017




1 download

Embed Size (px)


  • Gendered RebellionsRebel Daughters. Ireland in Conflict 1798 by Janet Todd; Irish Women's History by AlanHayes; Diane UrquhartReview by: Margaret . hgartaighThe Irish Review (1986-), No. 32, Thinking in Public (Autumn - Winter, 2004), pp. 126-128Published by: Cork University PressStable URL: .Accessed: 16/06/2014 11:44

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    Cork University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Irish Review(1986-).

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:44:08 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • Conquest of Ireland, he depicted Maurice Fizgerald, under Irish assault in Dublin in

    1171, telling his men that they must rely on each other and not expect outside

    help, since 'just as we are English as far as the Irish are concerned, likewise to the

    English we are Irish'. Muldoon considers Irish views of the colonists as revealed in

    the Remonstrance of the Irish Princes (1317) and traces attempts by the English Crown and its agents in Ireland to prevent degeneracy among the colonists by

    forbidding them to adopt Irish dress, customs, laws and language; he compares

    their situation with that of medieval and early modern settlers in other countries

    from the Middle East in the age of Crusade to the Spanish and English colonies in

    the Americas. He questions the extent to which the colonists adopted Irish ways

    or at least Irishness and emphasizes that they continued to insist that they were

    English. Much good it did them in the end, when Spenser could dismiss their

    'great houses' as 'now growne as Irish, as O-hanlan's breech, as the proverb there

    is'. Muldoon's treatment of the civilized community's horror of association with

    barbarians and fear of absorption eloquently conveys why Englishmen of England like Spenser should have reacted with such hostility to the English of Ireland who

    seemed to be abandoning their birthright. Indeed, the book as a whole is a

    stimulating read, most handsomely produced and a welcome addition to the

    literature on medieval and early modern representations of Ireland and its peoples.


    Gendered Rebellions

    Janet Todd, Rebel Daughters. Ireland in Conflict 1798. London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN

    0-14100489-4. ?8.99 pbk

    Alan Hayes and Diane Urquhart (eds.), Irish Women's History. Dublin: Irish Academic

    Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7165-2702-2. ?49.50 hbk. ISBN 0-7165-2716-2. ?22.50 pbk.

    Janet Todd is a highly regarded scholar of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland. Her rare ability to present careful research in an entertaining manner is on full display in this multiple biography of the Kingsborough families.

    The title, Rebel Daughters, does not do full justice to the cast of characters in this

    intellectual romp through Western Europe in an age of rebellions. Lord

    Kingsborough, later Earl of Kingston, was notorious for his activities in Wexford as

    commander of the North Cork Militia during the 1798 Rebellion. His family

    provides the backdrop to this tale of love, lust, intrigue and murder. Caroline King,

    his mother, is the subject of searching scrutiny. Her cool contempt for her

    offspring is carefully delineated, but the most fascinating part of this book is the

    discussion of Mary Wollstonecraft's tenure as governess to the Kingsboroughs and

    her great influence on Margaret Kingsborough. Todd's expertise on Wollstonecraft

    illuminates her careful discussion of the educational mores of aristocratic families

    126 ? h?GARTAIGH, 'Gendered Rebellions', Irish Review 32 (2004)

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:44:08 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • in the late eighteenth century. Inevitably, there are some minor errors, Townsend

    became Lord Lieutenant in 1767, not 1765. Todd provides a somewhat simplistic

    analysis of landlord-tenant relations and she underestimates population growth in

    the eighteenth century. While she makes excellent use of contemporary sources,

    especially letters, sometimes she does not cite sources for contentious events. For

    example, she suggests that the Wexford United Irishmen 'established a successful

    republic'. The evidence for that is somewhat elusive, though Alicia Pounden, a

    Wexford liberal Protestant, did mention being asked to surrender by 'the

    Republic' during 1798. Furthermore, she mentions that Mary Moore, the

    reactionary George Ogle's sister-in-law, was carried to safety by 'a Captain Hay'.

    This Captain Hay was Philip Hay, the youngest brother of the historian and

    Catholic activist Edward Hay. Todd has made excellent use of the vast material

    available on Ireland in the late eighteenth century. Perhaps she would now like to

    entertain us with another tale from aristocratic Ireland.

    She could begin by reading the outstanding work on unionist aristocrats such as

    Ladies Frances Anne, Theresa and Edith Londonderry, by Diane Urquhart. Their

    fascinating nineteenth-century lives are chronicled with great attention to

    contemporary context. One of the excitements of the collection of essays edited

    by Urquhart and Alan Hayes is the innovative use of sources. Lisa Bitel's

    entertaining romp though the lives of St Brigit cleverly analyses the sources for

    various interpretations of Brigit's authority. Moira Egan's original discussion of the

    diverse and problematic experiences of the Mercy nurses in the Crimea makes

    clear the difficulties associated with race, gender and sectarianism in a hostile

    environment. Her article also emphasizes the fact that women clashed over a

    number of issues, not least the differing kinds of authority wielded by Florence

    Nightingale and Mother Frances Bridgeman. Egan's work has now been

    elaborated on by the recent editing of the journals of three Mercy nuns, whose

    experiences in the Crimea tell us a lot about Anglo-Irish relations, military

    medicine and Catholic?Protestant relations in the mid nineteenth century. By

    contrast, Gr?inne Blair rather underestimates the contemporary sectarian context

    in her discussion of the Salvation Army. Balanced and intelligent use of oral

    interviews by Mary Muldowney makes for a fascinating paper on the

    opportunities and difficulties women workers faced in Dublin and Belfast during the Second World War. Women who chose to work in the home were subjected to

    various pressures, as Caitriona Clear suggests, in her original discussion of

    breastfeeding. She notes that Catholic authorities encouraged breastfeeding, but

    these views were not unique to Catholics. The devout Protestant Dr Kathleen

    Lynn once described breast milk as 'food from God'. One of the interesting themes of this collection of essays is the strong role religion played in the lives of

    so many people. Dianne Hall traverses 300 years of Irish history (1200?1540) without sacrificing any respect for detail in her discussion of the rules regarding

    lay and religious women. Not surprisingly, finance played

    a role in the allocation of

    lands for religious use and provided scope for both cooperation and conflict

    between lay and religious women.

    Conversely, in Rosemary Raughter's discussion

    ? h?GARTAIGH, 'Gendered Rebellions', Irish Review 32 (2004) 127

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:44:08 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • of Methodist women in the eighteenth century, there is a greater focus on

    individual spirituality. She does make clear that, despite its radicalism, Methodism

    still reaffirmed the traditional family responsibilities. The collection concludes with a discussion of the future of women's history in

    Ireland by Alan Hayes. He rightly praises the pioneering work of Margaret MacCurtain and Mary Cullen. The seminal Women in Irish Society, the Historical

    Dimension (1978), edited by Donnchadh ? Corr?in and Margaret MacCurtain, and featuring essays by Joe Lee, Mary E. Daly and Mary Robinson, is, in some

    respects, the model for this collection. However, the 1978 work is more impressive

    in its sophistication. In a sense, this new book allows us to assess how far we have

    travelled since 1978. Undoubtedly, an enormous amount of work has been done.

    As Margaret MacCurtain points out in her characteristically perceptive foreword,

    subjects such as

    'family, religion, the techniques of using oral testimony of oral

    history in recalling the recent past, emigration, infanticide and mental illness can

    be explored in a manner which would have been peripheral to the mainstream of

    Irish history in the 1970s'.Yet, while scholars such as Caitriona Clear rightly point out the influence of the (mainly male) medical profession and Dianne Urquhart is

    very sensitive to the role of male politicians in the lives of aristocratic political hostesses, there is still a sense that this is women's history, rather than gender

    history. Is the Todd approach, where men and women are seen in all their

    complexities, the way forward?


    Localities and Heroes

    David Fitzpatrick, Harry Boland's Irish Revolution, 1887?1922. Cork: Cork University Press, 2003. ISBN 1859182224. ?39.00 hbk.

    Marie Coleman, County Longford and the Irish Revolution, 1910-1923. Dublin: Irish

    Academic Press. 2003. ISBN 0-7165-2703-0 ?45.00/?35.00/$52.50 hbk.

    In the last few years three books on Harry Boland have been published. It is

    difficult to believe that in the forseeable future there can be any improvement on

    David Fitzpatrick's biography: a formidable achievement both in terms of the depth of research and the soundness of judgement. A biography of Boland is a vital and

    inviting subject. A revolutionary Fenian born and bred, GAA player and administra?

    tor, proud Dubliner and the leading political fixer in Sinn F?in ranks, Boland was

    one of the crucial figures in the Irish Revolution. He is the only man who did not

    play an active role in the IRA during the War of Independence who was viewed

    without contempt by Volunteer colleagues. Boland achieved the unique distinction

    of being a close friend and confidant of both deValera and Collins, and his part in

    the strange romantic triangle with Collins and Kitty Kiernan adds to his attraction.

    128 H0PKINS0N, localities and Heroes', Irish Review 32 (2004)

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:44:08 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    Article Contentsp. 126p. 127p. 128

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Irish Review (1986-), No. 32, Thinking in Public (Autumn - Winter, 2004), pp. 1-139Front MatterThinking in PublicEdward Said and the Cultural Intellectual at Century's End [pp. 1-22]Culture and Democracy in Ireland [pp. 23-38]Theology, Habermas and Corporate Worship [pp. 39-52]Critical Contexts for the Irish Left [pp. 53-68]Wiles of the Wireless: Radio and Critical Discourse in Ireland [pp. 69-76]Crime and Justice: Willie Doherty and Chris Ofili [pp. 77-89]

    Review ArticlesReview: The Rich Confusion of Experience: Foster's Years [pp. 90-97]Review: The Legendary Robert Emmet and His Bicentennial Biographers [pp. 98-104]

    PoetryNew Poems: Pure Brightness Day; The Daughters of lot; The Pleasure Thermometer [pp. 105-108]

    ReviewsReview: Companions and Introductions [pp. 109-111]Review: Greening from Within [pp. 111-114]Review: Text and Film [pp. 114-116]Review: rscalta Don Phobal? [pp. 117-119]Review: Neither Humanist nor Modernist [pp. 119-121]Review: Shelley's Irish Links [pp. 121-123]Review: Absorption Fears [pp. 123-126]Review: Gendered Rebellions [pp. 126-128]Review: Localities and Heroes [pp. 128-130]Review: New Histories and Soggy Pottage [pp. 130-132]Review: Purity and Peace [pp. 132-135]Review: Democracy and Equality [pp. 135-137]

    Back Matter