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At Home in the Revolution

At Home in the Revolution

what women said and did in 1916

Contributor(s): Lucy McDiarmid

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At Home in the Revolution derives its material from women’s own accounts of the Easter Rising, interpreted broadly to include also the Howth gun-running and events that took place over the summer of 1916 in Ireland. These eye-witness narratives -- diaries, letters, memoirs, autobiographies, and official witness statements -- were written by nationalists and unionists, Catholics and Protestants, women who felt completely at home in the garrisons, cooking for the men and treating their wounds, and women who stayed at home during the Rising. The book’s focus is on the kind of episode usually ignored by traditional historians: cooking with bayonets, arguing with priests, resisting sexual harassment, soothing a female prostitute, doing sixteen-hand reels in Kilmainham Gaol, or disagreeing with Prime Minister Asquith about the effect of the Rising on Dublin’s architecture. The women’s ‘small behaviours’, to use Erving Goffman’s term, reveal social change in process, not the official history of manifestos and legislation, but the unofficial history of access to a door or a leap through a window; they show how issues of gender were negotiated in a time of revolution.



Product Details

Publication date: November 18, 2015
Number of Pages: 240


INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award 2015

History - USA, 2016 - Winner: Bronze


‘There’s a particular pleasure in the well-told anecdote. But in historical scholarship, “well-told” also involves  finding the larger meaning of the individual episode. At this, Lucy McDiarmid [...] clearly excels’. James Clyde Sellman for Colloquy, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences alumni magazine of Harvard University. 

‘This work is an exemplar of how to do and write women’s history. Although bookshelves may be groaning with the weight of 1916-themed books this is one book no one interested in the 1916 Rising can be without’. Mary McAuliffe for History Ireland.

'Few books published for the centenary of 1916 will be as original, as entertaining, as thoroughly researched or as well written as this analysis of women's words, ideas and actions during the Easter Rising'. Angela Bourke for the Irish Times. Read the full review here.

'In the torrent of history books published to mark the 1916 centenary, a small number will stand out as worthy of repeated reprint. Lucy McDiarmid’s At Home In The Revolution is one of those books. Its concept is innovative, its substance is enlightening and surprising, and its style and production are a joy to read and hold'. Eoin Ó Broin for the Sunday Business Post. Read the full review here.

'The book is at once a political study of shifting gender relations as well as a thoroughly researched, vivid, emotional, and often comic look at forgotten stories of the Rising that will entertain as much as it will enlighten'. Adam Farley for Irish America Magazine. Read the full review here.

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