Constance Markievicz: An Individual
Horrigan, Molly A.
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For a woman the study of history can often seem rather one-sided. There are rarely women in history with whom one can identify. This problem is understandable in view of the historical situations of the sexes. It is not for me to pass judgement or, for that matter, attempt to rewrite history so that women appear to have had an influence upon situations which perhaps they did not. However, it is always interesting to me, as a female student of history, to find a female who has played a role in an important historical event. When this rare woman is found, she is usually extremely worthy of admiration and often times of an in-depth examination of her motives for involvement and their results. This further examination can be interesting to any scholar of history but I feel that it is especially important to another female. This is perhaps the case because women have very few of the role models (models of courage, determination and ideals) with whom to identify that men have had. So when a woman worthy of notice is found, she is the object of attention that many men in the same situation as she would perhaps not receive. Such a woman is to be found in the person of Constance Georgina, Countess de Markievicz. She was the beautiful, spirited, eldest child of a wealthy Anglo-Irish family whose ancestral home was at Lissadell, County Sligo. She went on to become one of the important forces in the Irish Labor movement, nearly one of the martyrs in the 1916 Easter Rebellion and the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament (She did not take her seat at Westminister).