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Wild Atlantic Women Walking Ireland's West Coast

Biography / Memoir
By: Gráinne Lyons(Author)
256 pages
Publisher: New Island Books
Wild Atlantic Women
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  • Wild Atlantic Women ISBN: 9781848408593 Paperback May 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £14.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

A second-generation London Irishwoman walks the Wild Atlantic Way in the footsteps of eleven pioneering women, beginning with her great-grandmother, a lacemaker on Cape Clear Island, and including Ellen Hutchins, Edna O'Brien, Granuaile, Queen Meabh and Easkey Britton.

At a crossroads in her life, Gráinne Lyons set out to travel Ireland's west coast on foot. She set a simple intention: to walk in the footsteps of eleven pioneering Irish women deeply rooted in this coastal landscape and explore their lives and work along the way. As a Londoner born to Irish parents, she also sought answers in her own identity.

As Gráinne heads north from Cape Clear Island where her great-grandmother was a lacemaker, she considers Ellen Hutchins, Maude Delap, Edna O'Brien, Granuaile and Queen Maeve among others from her unique perspective. Their homes – in places that are famously wild and remote – are transformed into sites of hope, purpose, opportunity and inspiration. Walking through this history, her journey reveals unexpected insight into emigrant identity, travelling alone, femininity and the trappings of an 'ideal' life.

Against the backdrop and power of this great ocean, Wild Atlantic Women will inspire the twenty-first-century reader and walker to keep going, regardless of the path.


Chapter One: Ellen Cotter (1880 - 1956): Cape Clear, Cork
Chapter Two: Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815): Bantry Bay, Cork
Chapter Three: Maude Delap (1866 - 1953): Valentia Island, Kerry
Chapter Four: Peig Sayers (1873-1958): The Great Blasket Island, Kerry
Chapter Five: Charlotte Grace O'Brien (1845-1909): Foynes, Limerick
Chapter Six: Edna O'Brien (b.1930): The Cliffs of Moher, Clare
Chapter Seven: Una McDonagh: Inis Oir, Galway
Chapter Eight: Kate O'Brien (1896-1974): Roundstone, Connemara, Galway
Chapter Nine: Grainne Mhaol (c.1530 - c.1603): Clare Island, Mayo
Chapter Ten: Queen Meabh: Knocknarea, Sligo
Chapter Eleven: Easkey Britton: Rossnowlagh, Donegal
Conclusion: Malin Head

Customer Reviews


Gráinne Lyons is a writer and documentary-maker from London, where she lives. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmith's University and a BA in English Literature from the University of York. Her work has been published in The Irish Times and Aesthetica magazine and she was shortlisted for the Mslexia first novel competition in 2017. As a documentary producer, she has produced numerous arts and history films, including A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol for BBC4; Miss World 1970: Beauty Queens and Bedlam for BBC 2 and The Art of Japanese Life, also for BBC4. Most recently, she was writer on The People's Piazza: A History of Covent Garden, presented by David Olusoga and broadcast on BBC 2. Grainne's parents are both Irish and now live in County Sligo, which is her home when she is in Ireland.

Biography / Memoir
By: Gráinne Lyons(Author)
256 pages
Publisher: New Island Books
Media reviews

Wild Atlantic Women is a different, deeper narrative that gradually soaks into your consciousness, like soft rain soaks into way onto your skin in the remote coastal locations that Lyons visits. Lyon's understated, luminous writing does justice to these diverse women who all shared this wild coastline.

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