The Prison Letters of Countess Markievicz were first published in 1932 as a classic of feminist literature. Now restored to their original form by leading Markievicz expert, Lindie Naughton, this new edition features previously unpublished letters that Markievicz sent to family members and friends, offering a unique insight into her extraordinary life.
After escaping the firing squad for her part in the 1916 Easter Rising, she was sentenced to life imprisonment and transferred to Mountjoy Jail and later sent to other prisons including Holloway in London and Cork Jail. Through these letters, recounting her feelings, political beliefs, opinions on world events and the minutiae of her domestic life, we hear the voice of a remarkable woman, full of life and spirit; a supporter of the underdog, who never gave up the fight for a more equal society.
The first woman elected as an MP to the House of Commons, Markievicz is a controversial figure in Irish and British history but has remained a shadowy symbol of Ireland’s revolutionary past. The real Markievicz shines through her letters to tell the story of one of Ireland’s most remarkable citizens, in her own words.
Praise for Markievicz: Prison Letters & Rebel Writings
‘A fascinating insight into a fascinating person … The decision to interweave the letters and commentary rather than having recourse to foot- or endnotes makes for a quite seamless reading experience, resulting in a narrative as compulsive as any page-turning work of fiction or epistolary novel.’
Amanda Bell, Books Ireland
‘This collection is an invaluable resource for those keen to explore the emotional and physical experiences of a female revolutionary who, until recent decades of feminist recovery work, was not treated well by history. It offers insight into this activist’s take on early-twentieth-century Irish politics, both enthusiastic and cynical. It allows us to access an imprisoned sisterhood’s concern for each other as harsh conditions took their toll. Perhaps most poignantly, it offers us a rare insight into the intimate relationship between two sisters – both devoted to revolutionising social and political culture – as they navigated the often painful and oppressive consequences of that devotion.’
Sharon Crozier-De Rosa, LSE Review of Books
About the Author
Lindie Naughton is a Dublin-based journalist and writer. Her books include Markievicz: A Most Outrageous Rebel; Lady Icarus: The Life of Irish Aviator Lady Mary Heath; Faster, Higher, Stronger: A History of Ireland’s Olympians; Let’s Run: A Handbook for Irish Runners, amongst others.