Countess Markievicz: An Adventurous Life

This volume of the Easter Rising Centenary In a Nutshell series focuses on Countess Constance Markievicz, the woman made famous by her involvement in the fight for Irish Independence. In this short biography Ann Carroll leads us through Markievicz’s life, from wealthy origins in rural Sligo, to her marriage to the Polish Count Casimir Markievicz, and finally the influential role she played in Irish politics. Despite her privileged background, Markievicz was aware of the hardship around her and used her wealth and education to assist in the struggle for Irish Independence. Her bravery and determination for the cause had her fighting alongside men on the battlefield as well as in government.

Carroll is known for her historical junior fiction, and in this publication she uses brief descriptions of the political climate in Ireland at each phase of Markievicz’s life in order to explain the motives for her actions, including the 1913 Dublin Lockout, the Easter Rising and the Irish Civil War. While highlighting the fact that Markievicz was an unusual woman of her time, Carroll does not focus too much on her femininity, treating her with the same respect and admiration we see offered to her male counterparts. The timeline jumps around a little, which could be confusing for younger children, and although there are black and white illustrations on each page to help guide the reader, the nature of the subject and the language used make it more suitable for a slightly older audience.