Vicereines of Ireland: Portraits of Forgotten Women


Myles Campbell 

Feb. 2021

Vicereines of Ireland uncovers the considerable contributions women behind the throne made to the social and cultural life of Ireland.

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For centuries, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, or viceroy, was the representative of the British monarch in Ireland. For almost every viceroy who served at Dublin Castle there was also a vicereine; a wife who served with him. Once prominent in Irish life, the vicereines and their legacies are now almost entirely overlooked. This book sets out to recapture their lost stories by exploring the portraits and personal objects they left behind.

Opulently dressed and elegantly posed, the women who gaze out from these paintings were often as dynamic, bold and influential as their husbands during their time at the apex of Irish society. They were activists, artists and aid workers; international campaigns to prevent famine in Ireland, the design of interiors, the popularisation of Irish fabrics at the royal courts of Europe and the development of hospitals were just some of their now overlooked achievements.

Featuring critical essays by leading experts, analytical readings of key artworks and objects, and stunning colour portraits of the protagonists themselves, Vicereines of Ireland uncovers the considerable contributions these women behind the throne made to the social and cultural life of Ireland.


Foreword by Mary Heffernan, OPW

Editor’s Introduction

  1. ‘The Goverment of the Familie’: The First Duchess of Ormonde’s Understanding of the Role of Vicereine ~ Naomi McAreavey
  2. ‘That Caballing Humour, which has Very Ill Effects’: Frances Talbot, Jacobite Duchess of Tyrconnell and Vicereine of Ireland ~ Frances Nolan
  3. ‘She Made Charity and Benevolence Fashionable’: Mary, Marchioness of Buckingham, Vicereine of Ireland ~ Janice Morris
  4. ‘An Admirable Vice-Queen’: The Duchess of Rutland in Ireland, 1784–7 ~ Rachel Wilson
  5. ‘A Subject for History’: Maria, Marchioness of Normanby as Vicereine of Ireland, 1835–9 ~ Myles Campbell
  6. Lacing Together the Union: How Theresa, Marchioness of Londonderry’s Unionist Endeavours were at the Heart of her Viceregal Tenure in Ireland, 1886–9 ~ Neil Watt
  7. ‘One of the Sincerest Democrats of her Caste’: Lady Ishbel Aberdeen’s Crusade against Tuberculosis in Ireland ~ Éimear O’Connor

About the Editor: Dr Myles Campbell is now Research and Interpretation Officer (Curator) for the Office of Public Works at Dublin Castle, where he has curated several exhibitions. In 2017 he was co-editor of Making Majesty: The Throne Room at Dublin Castle, A Cultural History (Irish Academic Press), research for which earned him the inaugural George B. Clarke Prize.

Additional information

Weight 0.54 kg


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