“How hard Ireland was on the women who could not fit in – the wild ones, the ones who had to get out, seeming emigrants but actual exiles.” – Nuala O’Faolain ℘℘℘ Chicago May wasn’t from Chicago and, in fact, spent little time there, but the name somehow suited her. May Duignan was born inRead more..
Posts Tagged ‘Wild Irish Women’
Oh! star of Erin, queen of tears, Black clouds have beset thy birth, And your people die like morning stars, That your light may grace the earth. – “Stars of Freedom,” 1981 By IRA volunteer Bobby Sands, M.P. H-Block, Long Kesh Prison Camp ℘℘℘ Watching Bobby Sands die in 1981, much of the world realized,Read more..
An American pioneer of dance and an important figure in both the arts and history, Isadora Duncan was known as the “Mother of Modern Dance.” ℘℘℘ “Sans Limites” Oh, body swayed to music, Oh, brightening glance. How can we know the dancer from the dance?” – William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children” “She wasRead more..
It took a movie, 1981’s Reds, to both lift Louise Bryant from obscurity and reduce her to the sniveling acolyte of American communist John Reed, Annie Hall in a babushka. Wrong. For all her (many) faults, Louise Bryant was always her own woman – a fearless journalist, activist, suffragette, and talented writer. She was alsoRead more..
The famous British Army surgeon was actually an Irish woman. ℘℘℘ Dr. James Barry was born in County Cork as Margaret Anne Bulkley, the daughter of Jeremiah and Mary-Ann (neé Barry). Accounts vary on the year of her birth but whether it was 1789 or 1795, women were denied a formal education. Her father wasRead more..
Sinéad rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. She will release a new album under a new name, Magda Davitt, in 2019. In between she has battled mental illness and controversy – she was one of the first to speak out about the abuses by theRead more..
The Bronx girl who changed the face of Irish theater. ℘℘℘ An enigma and a shapeshifter, she changed her first name each time her life entered a new incarnation. Baptized Eleanor, she was Ellie as a child, a little beauty with a bounty of red-gold hair. Her gifts – singing, dancing, and especially acting – were supported byRead more..
Singer, showgirl, and queen of the speakeasy during Prohibition, Mary Guinan was a genuine Irish American wild woman. Larger (and louder) than life, she had an even bigger heart. ℘℘℘ During the wild and jazzy New York of the 1920s, Texas Guinan was the wildest and jazziest dame in town. Born Mary Louise Cecilia GuinanRead more..
A nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries, Brigid of Kildare was a woman who defied authority, possessed great strength of will and determination, and whose cheerful giving of food and shelter to any passing traveler laid the foundation for Ireland’s legendary hospitality. ℘℘℘ Saints are everywhere, like enzymes, gravity, or the CIA – invisible,Read more..
The tragic star who burned too bright but always gave the loveliest light. ℘℘℘ Her mother, the improbably named Volga, was an ex-Ziegfeld Girl, born to a printer, Allynn Hayworth, and his wife, Maggie O’Hare, the daughter of Patrick and Bridget O’Hare, immigrants from Ireland. Her father, Eduardo Cansino, as black-hearted a villain as everRead more..