NEW BOOK: ‘The daughters of the first Earl of Cork’

6 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth

A new book has been published which will be of interest to Cork residents

This is the first critical study of the seventeenth-century Boyle women and their surviving manuscript writings. Based on the recovery and analysis of the letters and private papers of the wife, daughters, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters of Richard Boyle (1566–1643), the first earl of Cork, this book examines how these women perceived and wrote their lives as individuals and as members of their famous family. The book explores the theme of identity through close readings of the extant texts from a number of perspectives: the figuration of Ireland; gender; the impact of civil war rupture; Protestantism; and legacy-making. This original showcasing of the Boyle women’s largely forgotten female-voiced texts further illuminates how these women used the occasion of family writing and record-keeping to develop self-presentation strategies which allowed them to situate their lives at the centre of the transformations which were taking place in early modern Ireland and Britain.

The author, Ann-Maria Walsh, is originally from Cork and now teaches in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin.

Publisher: Four Courts Press.
Pages: 208pp. Hardback. Colour Ills.
RRP: €50.00
Available: 6th March 2020

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