The daughters of the first earl of Cork
Writing family, faith, politics and place
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), first earl of Cork, this book examines how these women perceived and wrote their lives as individuals and as members of their famous family. Ann-Maria Walsh 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 that allowed them to situate their lives at the centre of the transformations that were taking place in early modern Ireland and Britain.
Ann-Maria Walsh studied English at University College Dublin and was awarded her PhD in 2017. She teaches in the School of English at UCD as well as working as a researcher in the University’s cultural heritage collections area. Ann-Maria is currently working on an edition of the Boyle women’s extant letters for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. Her research interests include seventeenth-century women’s letters, diaries, and other autobiographical writings, as well as early modern literature, material culture, and Irish and British history of that period.