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Fearless Woman

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Feminism and the Irish Revolution

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington (1877–1946) was truly a fearless woman. At a time when women were viewed as second-class citizens in the eyes of the law, she stepped boldly into the public spotlight, founding the Irish Women’s Franchise League—a pioneering voting right organization—in 1908, as well as taking a strong public stance against World War I and serving as an executive in the leftwing political party Sinn Féin. Her later years saw her mount a campaign as an Irish parliamentary candidate and confront powerful figures such as Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson in her fight for social justice. This substantially revised and updated edition of Margaret Ward’s biography of Skeffington sheds new light on the fascinating life of a pivotal figure in the feminist, labor, and nationalist movements in Ireland. Incorporating new archival research and featuring an array of freshly discovered images, Ward’s book also illuminates rarely-seen corners of Skeffington’s life outside the public eye, exploring both her relationship with her husband and her role as a single parent. With social and political issues such as voting rights, gender equality, and the progressive fight for justice as vital as ever, this revised edition of Fearless Woman could hardly be timelier.

400 pages | 2 color plates | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2019

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Family Tree
Chronology of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington’s Life and Times
Suffrage Friends and Colleagues of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington

1Early Years 1877–1900
2The Making of a Feminist 1900–1903
3Partnership 1903–1908
4A Feminist Mother 1908-1910
5The Stone and The Shillelagh 1910–1912
6Outlaws 1912–1914
7’Rolling Up the Map of Suffrage’ 1914–1916
8Death of a Pacifist 1916
9Challenging the Empire 1917–1918
10A Feminist Sinn Féiner 1918–1921
11Republican Envoy 1921–1925
12The Struggle Continues 1925–1932
13Feminism, Republicanism, Communism 1932–1937
14‘The Seeds Beneath the Snow’ 1937–1946


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