Countess Constance Markievicz – one of the most remarkable women in Irish history – was a revolutionary, a socialist and a feminist, as well as an artist and writer. A natural leader, ‘Madame’, as she was known to thousands of Dubliners, took an active part in the 1916 Rising and was one of the few leaders to escape execution. Instead, she spent an arduous year in an English prison, surrounded by murderers, prostitutes and thieves. Later, during another stretch in prison, she would make history as the first woman elected to the British Houses of Parliament.
Lindie Naughton’s compelling biography sheds light on all facets of Markievicz’s life – her privileged upbringing in County Sligo, her adventures as an art student in London and Paris, her marriage to an improbable Polish count, her political education, her several prison terms, and her emergence as one of the pivotal figures in early twentieth-century Britain and Ireland. Constance Markievicz, a woman with a huge heart, battled all her adult life to establish an Irish republic based on co-operation and equality for all. Her message is as relevant today as it was a century ago.