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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.

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