Coming soon, Eva Gore Booth

Coming soon, Eva Gore Booth

Posted by Manchester University Press - Friday, 27 Apr 2012


This ground-breaking book reveals the fascinating and pioneering life of Eva Gore-Booth

  • The first dedicated biography of the Irish poet and radical political activist Eva Gore-Booth (1870-1926)
  • A significant contribution to the history of Anglo-Irish politics; social justice campaigns; women’s suffrage, trade union movements and the establishment of the British Labour Party
  •  Reveals Gore-Booth’s instrumental role in forcing Winston Churchill out of his Manchester constituency
  • Provides a new insight into the early political career of Gore-Booth’s sister, the iconic Irish nationalist, Countess Markievicz
  • Timely publication covering key issues nearing centenary commemorations including, the Dublin Lockout, World War One, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Easter Rising, first votes for women and the Irish War of Independence.  


Eva Gore-Booth’s life story is at last being told in this landmark book, Eva Gore-Booth: An Image of Such Politics. Gore-Booth was a prolific and vibrant writer who enjoyed a place within W.B. Yeats’ literary circle. She dramatically rejected her aristocratic heritage in the West of Ireland leaving her ancestral home of Lissadell House. She crossed class boundaries moving to the industrial quarters of smog bound Manchester where she lived and worked amongst the poorest classes.
The story of Gore-Booth’s life is captivating and provides new insights into key political issues of early twentieth century Ireland and Britain. This book explores Gore-Booth’s experiences of militant pacifism during the Great War; her campaign for the reprieve Roger Casement’s death sentence; her determination to organise the defeat of Winston Churchill and her unwavering struggle for Irish independence. Her pioneering work on behalf of those marginalised in society such as barmaids, circus performers, flower sellers and pit-brow lasses and her instrumental role in the fight for gender equality in the workplace is examined using meticulous research.
The author’s dedication to her subject is confirmed by an international peer reviewer for Manchester University Press who notes how –‘Tiernan’s historical research in various archives has been exemplary, her access to the papers of Eva Gore-Booth and her selection of material and her interpretation, has rendered a narrative of great originality and interest. It really engages the reader in the life of Eva Gore-Booth, capturing the intensity and excitement of her life and the broader historical period.’
This book presents the reader with a life story, heretofore largely overlooked, of a remarkable woman, who was a key figure during several major periods and events in Anglo-Irish cultural and political history.  Renowned academic, Professor Maria Luddy, states that ‘this book illuminates the fascinating life of Eva Gore-Booth. Historian Sonja Tiernan has written an exciting and vibrant life of this extraordinary woman, at once an intrepid feminist, pacifist and advocate for social justice.’
Author Sonja Tiernan says,
‘the story of Eva Gore-Booth’s revolutionary life shows a person devoted to the ideal of a free and independent Ireland and a woman with a deep sense of how class and gender equality can transform lives and legislation. Her campaigns to achieve fundamental change in these areas were often at odds with the ideals of mainstream organisations and were almost always ahead of public opinion. In some cases her behaviour was deemed to be “unlawful” by authorities but this only served to make her more determined.’


Six Key Dates in the life of Eva Gore-Booth  


1879: Famine re-visits the West of Ireland and Gore-Booth witnesses the devastation inflicted on tenant farmers on her family’s land in Sligo.


1908: In opposition to the Liberal party’s proposed Licensing Bill Gore-Booth orchestrates the defeat of Winston Churchill at a Manchester by-election. Her campaign to protect the employment of barmaids is supported in the House of Commons.    


1914: During World War One Gore-Booth becomes an active member of the No Conscription Fellowship supporting conscientious objectors. She writes pamphlets condemning the war and documents accounts of military tribunals.  


1916: Gore-Booth is deeply affected by the Easter Rising, her friend Frances Sheehy Skeffington is murdered and her mentor, James Connolly executed. Her sister, Markievicz is sentenced to death for her part in the rebellion. Gore-Booth leads a high profile campaign for the reprieve of Roger Casement’s death sentence securing an audience with King George V.  


1918: Women over the age of 30 receive the vote in general elections for the first time. Gore-Booth’s sister, Constance Markievicz, is the only woman elected though she refuses to take her seat in line with nationalist policies.    


1926:  Eva Gore-Booth dies and is buried at St. John’s Churchyard, Hampstead. Her life-long partner Esther Roper died 12 years later and they are buried together under a Celtic cross adorned with a fragment of Sappho’s poetry. 
About the author


Sonja Tiernan is a Lecturer in Modern History at Liverpool Hope University

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