Women Writing War: Publication and Launch


Women Writing War

Edited by Tina O’Toole, Gillian McIntosh and Muireann O’Cinnéide 

UCD Press have just announced the publication of Women Writing War: Ireland 1880-1922, edited by Tina O’Toole, Gillian McIntosh & Muireann O’Cinnéide. The book will be launched in UL on 25th November by Professor Patricia Coughlan (UCC).


The collection is the outcome of a collaborative international project on women’s writing and conflict. Initiated with funding and support from the UL-NUIG Gender ARC, the first working group was convened in UL by Dr Tina O’Toole and Professor Meg Harper, who later hosted a 2012 conference ‘Behind the Lines: Women, War and Letters’ in collaboration with colleagues at NUIG and Queen’s Belfast. The conference brought experts in the field from eleven countries to UL.


Women’s literary expressions of war have long been neglected and at times forgotten in Irish scholarship. In Women Writing War many of these forgotten women, and their writings from the 1880–1922 period, are brought to the fore. The women themselves are revealed as active cultural producers and agents, deeply invested in the political and military struggles of their day. From the Land Wars to the Boer Wars, from the First World War to the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, the diverse range of topics in this thought-provoking volume explore the relationship between women and conflict.


Historian Margaret Ward, whose groundbreaking study Unmanageable Revolutionaries (1993) detailed women’s active engagement during the Irish revolutionary period, comments on the book:

‘Using little known or completely unknown texts, the contributors to this volume have not only brought to light many unjustly forgotten women, they have also demonstrated how much can be gleaned from intelligent, ideologically-aware analysis of literary sources.  In so doing, they provide us, collectively, with a multi-layered, intersectional portrayal of women who sought to make a difference to the society in which they lived. Through their various experiences as women living in turbulent times, they provide us with new ways of understanding those times.’