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ten facts about Irish revolutionary countess markievicz

Countess Markievicz

 

Countess Markievicz

 

Born 150 years ago this year on the 4th February 1868
 
Suffragette, artist, socialist, activist and one of the most iconic female revolutionaries of her time.

 

Dress suitably in short skirts and sitting boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver

 

This is one of my favourite quotes by Countess Markievicz, I love the image it brings to mind, ladies in revolt.

Ten things you probably didn’t know about Countess Markievicz

1 – Her father, Henry Gore-Booth was an Arctic explorer and philanthropist

2 – She grew up in Lissadell House in Co. Sligo. It was here that her only child, Maeve Allys, was born  in 1901.

3 – Markievicz attended the Slade School of Art in London and later continued her studies in Paris, where she met her husband.

4 – She had a small part in George Russell’s (AE) play Deirdre which was on in the Abbey Theatre in 1907

5 – Constance was the first woman to be elected to parliament at Westminster but she never took her seat.

6 – She was jailed for the first time in 1911 for speaking at an Irish Republican Brotherhood demonstration of over 30,000 people.

7 – There is some debate as to whether her husband ever had the right to call himself ‘Count’ and therefore Constance ‘Countess. See the Lissadell archives here

8 – In 1913 Constance’s husband, Casimir, moved back to Ukraine, and never returned to live in Ireland. Although he was by her side when she died in 1927.

9 – Countess Markievicz died on the 15th July 1927, at the age of 59, from complications related to appendicitis.

10 – 300,000 people attended her funeral and she is buried at Glasnevin Cemetery.

 

Countess Markievicz studio portrait with a gun

 

What her contempories said of her

“One thing she had in abundance—physical courage; with that she was clothed as with a garment.” – Séan O’Casey 

“Two girls in silk kimonos, both beautiful, one a gazelle” WB Yeats.

 

Resources and Links

To read more about Countess Markievicz here are some resources

Easter1916.ie

Lissadell House

Sligo Heritage on her daughter Maeve

Glasnevin Trust

The Irish Labour History Society

The Lissadell Estate archive

Independant.ie article on Constance’s brother leaving Lissadell House 

Constance Markievicz: Irish Revolutionary by Anne M. Haverty

 

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