Introduction to A Life Before: Extract for Patrons

My latest patron-only extract from “A Life Before” is the very first pages, which will soon be on their way to the editor to produce a sample of the first chapter. They introduce the key characters who will drive the Gonne-Yeats series, More Than A Muse: the activist Maud Gonne and her daughter, Iseult; the poet WB Yeats, and Rosy's own Irish family including her cousin Lily, who was murdered by a bullet through the heart “by one who knew what he was doing”.

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St Patrick’s Day Live Event: More Than A Muse

First in a series of events to launch my novel series about the great activist and poet, Maud Gonne, and the poet she inspired, WB Yeats. I’ll be doing online events mostly, but I’m starting at home, closing out the Irish Film week at Kino-Teatr with a talk: More Than A Muse: Maud Gonne and the Poetry of WB Yeats. Kino-Teatr is a magical corner of culture and they are currently fundraising.

Maud Gonne’s Political and Social Achievements

Maud Gonne in old age

I believe Maud Gonne deserves public honor from Dublin for her social and political achievements yes, but her statue is particularly timely now. She embodies the sort of objections those in power use to keep out those who are different–female, queer, colored, disabled or outsidered in some other way. As a young woman she was dismissed as a rich English spy or a self-serving drama queen by unsympathetic nationalists. After she died she was dubbed a liar by unsympathetic scholars. In between she was always seen as “too” something. Too bloodthirsty, too divorced, too radical, too English, too feminist, too self-promoting, too extreme, too pathetic. Today, she is too anti-Semitic. The “More Than A Muse” campaign will highlight not just her many achievements but also the many ways she was unduly vilified.