Published by Royal Irish Academy
Number of pages: 244
Nine families of sisters who made a difference
Nine writers trace the public and private lives of nine sets of sisters. Artists, publishers, writers, educationalists, philanthropists, revolutionaries, suffragists — thinkers all. Independent women with hopes and ideals who overcame barriers, even within their own families, to their participation in public life. Their stories have often been overlooked by the mainstream historical record. These essays take readers on a journey through the centuries from the 1600s to the turbulent years of the independence struggle in 1900s Ireland and uncover the influence, support and rivalries of family.
Listen back to our series of lunchtime lectures here:
The nine sets of sisters featured in the book are the following:
Nualaidh, Máire and Mairghréad Ó Domhnaill
Alice, Sara, Lettice, Joan, Katherine, Dorothy and Mary Boyle - Read an extract here
Katherine, Jane and Mary Conyngham
Deborah, Margaret, Mary and Sarah Shackleton
Lady Sydney Morgan and Lady Olivia Clarke (Attend lecture 10th Nov 2022)
Anna and Fanny Parnell - Read an extract here
Constance and Eva Gore-Booth
Susan and Elizabeth Yeats
Hanna, Margaret, Mary and Kathleen Sheehy - Read an extract here
In the press:
Say it for the sisterhood - Gemma Tipton, Irish Times Magazine, Saturday, 20 August 2022
Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin sang about them, and now a new book celebrates the stories of sisters throughout Irish history who, although often unsung themselves, made a world of difference. From Nualaidh and her sisters, Máire and Mairghréad, the daughters of Aodh Ó Domhnaill and An Inghean Dubh; to the Sheehy Skeffington sisters, via Gore-Booths, Yeatses and Parnells, there's lots to explore. Sisters, edited by Siobhán Fitzpatrick and Mary O'Dowd, is an academic tome, so expect footnotes, but it is also an enthralling read.
Read an extract of Sisters in IMAGE's Book Club and interview with Siobhán Fitzpatrick and Mary O'Dowd in Authors' Bookshelves
Sisters of some significance - Paul Clements, The Ticket, The Irish Times, Saturday, 19 November 2022
...considers the diversity of roles that the women held, whether artists and philanthropists or suffragists and revolutionaries. There is a considerable amount to unravel, including family rivalries and tension between siblings
Dublin Review of Books, November 2022
History, or His Story, has been written so exclusively by men and about men ‑ this war, that war, this economy, that economy, who’s wearing what crown etc, etc that it’s wonderful to witness the trickle of Her Story, of bringing women back into the narrative, turning into a flood. All hail then 'Sisters'...
Review by Rosita Sweetman Their Story