A fearless and truly great woman for a cause

Fearless Woman: Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Feminism and the Irish Revolutionary by Margaret Ward (University College Press, €30/£25) Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was born on May 24, 1877 in Kanturk, Co. Cork. She came from a well-known nationalist family. Fr Eugene Sheehy, her uncle, was a leading figure in the Land League and a close associate of the Irish…

The saintly suffering of Flannery O’Connor

The Abbess of Andalusia: Flannery O’Connor’s Spiritual Journey by Lorraine V. Murray (St Benedict Press, Charlotte NC; kindle-edition, £7.46 through Amazon UK) Many people are finding the restrictions caused by Covid-19 somewhat tiresome. In these circumstances it would be difficult to recommend a more appropriate read that this biography of Flannery O’Connor. The distinguished American writer…

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Douglas Hyde – a President for all

Douglas Hyde: A Maker of Modern Ireland by Janet Egleston Dunleavy & Gareth W. Dunleavy (University of California Press, £48.00) Douglas Hyde/Dubhlas de hÍde served as Ireland’s first president from 1938 to 1945. This was the very highest distinction which the new state and the people of Ireland could bestow. Hyde himself was a man who…

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In the North: a man of the peasantry

The Autobiography of William Carleton with a foreword by Benedict Kiely (The White Row Press, 1996; other editions are now available on line). This is the unfinished autobiography of William Carleton. Although it ends well short of when he died on January 30, 1869, together with his other writings, it is an important source for the…

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Essential insights of a great apologist

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (William Collins, £12.99/€18.19) This is a famous book of apologetics which is splendid to see back again in the shops. Mere Christianity is a collection of three books: Broadcast Talks (1942), Christian Behaviour (1943) and Beyond Personality (1944). These in turn were printed versions of a series of talks on Christian…

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