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Maud Gonne, 1893 - 1949

Series V: Maud Gonne, 1893 - 1949


  • Creation: 1893 - 1949

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This collection contains materials collected by Loretta Clarke Murray relating to the fight for Irish Independence, particularly materials belonging to women who fought for the cause. Included are materials by and about Cumann na mBan, Máire Gill, Maud Gonne, Countess Constance Markievicz, Helena Molony, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, and Margaret Skinnider in the form of correspondence, photographs, meeting minutes, autograph books of female prisoners, and handbills. Of note are an embroidered banner made by Gonne and a journal chronicling Skinnider’s participation in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Other materials are related to the women’s personal and artistic pursuits. Materials from Cuala Industries, from both the printing and embroidery departments, are included. Gill’s papers include photographs, correspondence, and other materials relevant to her involvement with camogie, as well as her work as a printer for Cuala Press. The collection also contains photographs and articles about Elizabeth Corbet Yeats’ management of Cuala Industries and watercolor landscapes by Yeats. Irish arts are further documented through jewelry, including Tara-inspired brooches worn by Inghinidhe na hÉireann members, etchings by Estella Frances Solomons, and a watercolor by Michael MacLiammoir inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem.

Irish Organizations From the Collection:

Bean na hÉireann: Monthly magazine published by the organization Inghinidhe na hÉireann.

Cumann na mBan: League of Women; An Irish republican women's organization.

Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael: The name of the Camogie Association from 1939 until 2010.

Cumann na Saoirse: The League for Freedom; The women’s organization created after Cumann na mBan split.

Dáil Éireann: Assembly of Ireland; The parliament of the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922.

Inghinidhe na hÉireann: An Irish republican women’s organization founded by Maud Gonne and later merged with Cumann na mBan.

Sinn Féin: Irish republican political party.


Language of Materials

From the Collection:

This collection includes materials in English, French, and Irish.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research; a portion is available digitally.

Biographical note

Maud Gonne was born on December 21, 1866, in England.

An Irish patriot and suffragette, Gonne founded Inghinidhe na hÉireann, the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900 to promote the cause of Irish independence. The organization created the first women’s journal to be published in Ireland, Bean na hÉireann, which ran until 1911. In 1914, Inghinidhe na hÉireann merged with Cumann na mBan.

Gonne was also a noted Irish actress and the muse of W. B. Yeats. She bore two children by French journalist Lucien Millevoye: Georges, who died as a baby, and Iseult. She married Major John MacBride in 1903 and together they had one son, Seán. Gonne and her husband separated in 1906, and she moved to France with Seán.

Major John MacBride participated in the 1916 Easter Rising and was executed for his involvement. Maud Gonne returned to Ireland in 1917 and began using her former husband’s name again.

In 1918, Gonne was arrested with Countess Constance Markievicz under accusations of their involvement in a pro-German plot against Britain. She went on to be involved in the Irish War of Independence and stood against the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1922, she co-founded the Women’s Prisoners’ Defense League, which was banned a year later. The group was the first to use the lily as a symbol of the 1916 Easter Rising, which is still used today. Gonne was arrested again in 1923 for carrying Anti-Free State placards and was released from Kilmainham Gaol after staging a hunger strike with her fellow inmates.

Gonne published her autobiography, A Servant of the Queen, in 1938. She died on April 27, 1953.


Britannica Academic, s.v. "Maud Gonne," accessed June 28, 2018,

"MAUD GONNE MACBRIDE." Glasnevin Trust. Accessed June 28, 2018.


14.25 Linear Feet (6 containers)

Custodial History

Murray acquired many of the Maud Gonne materials from Anna MacBride White, Maud's granddaughter.

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States