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Michael Collins and the Women Who Spied for Ireland [Paperback]

Meda Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £10.99
Price: £10.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 July 2006
Michael Collins has exercised an enduring fascination since his untimely death in 1922 at the age of thirty-one. This is the first book to concentrate on an aspect of his life and work hitherto overlooked: the crucial role played by women in his personal and working life. From his boyhood in an overwhelmingly female household in West Cork onwards, women brought out the best in him and he brought out the best in women. Susan Killeen, his first girlfriend from his London days, remained a steadfast ally throughout the years of the Troubles. From 1917, his girlfriend, Madeline (Dilly) Dicker, vivacious and talented, helped to ease the burden of his huge workload as well as acting as a secret agent. Society ladies Moya Llewylen Davies and Lady Hazel Lavery were conduits between Collins and the British Establishment and active participants in his work of espionage. In the final years of his life the true romantic passion between him and Kitty Kiernan is testified to by their frequent correspondence. These woman and many others who participated in the national struggle, women such as Kathleen Clarke, Leslie Price de Barra, Peg Barrett, Nancy O'Brien, Madge Hales and Collins's sister Mary Collins Powell, are woven into this fascinating narrative of Collins's life.

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Michael Collins and the Women Who Spied for Ireland + Michael Collins: A Biography
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Mercier Press Ltd; illustrated edition edition (4 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856355136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856355131
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Meda Ryan is a native of Bandon in West Cork and now lives in Ennis, Co. Clare. Her published books include The Real Chief: Liam Lynch and the controversial biography, Tom Barry, IRA Freedom Fighter. She has appeared on a number of television shows as a critic and historian.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating new perspective 5 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I had read everything on the subject of value and interest but this provides a new dimension. Not a starting point but a view which adds considerably to our understanding of the man, his work and his aims. While he remains at the centre, we meet women who were of huge value to him, to his struggle and to history. They stand as full and heroic people in their own right. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish women spies 23 Oct 2007
By N. Gallo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mick Collins needed a lot of help from the women in his life and he got plenty. Women spies risked their lives every day during the rebellion and this book gives interesting anecdotes about encounters with police, British agents during Collins' daily routines. An amazing number of women helped Ireland to overcome England's grip on their country.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 8 July 2012
By Clare Bear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Often I tend to take any reviews given, quite seriously and lack of reviews or bad reviews can be a deciding factor in whether I purchase a book or not. However, this time I decided to ignore the lack of reviews and I'm glad I did. It's great to read an Irish history book that focuses on the women for a change and their importance in Irish history. Too often Irish women's contribution to Irish history is airbrushed from our collective memory. I was extremely fascinated at the bravery and resourcefulness exhibited throughout the War of Independence by these women. I would have wished that less of the book had been dedicated to the relationship between Michael Collins and Kitty and more on the women who worked for Collins. However, that is merely my take on it, and overall was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Marred by the Absence of Illustrations 12 Sep 2013
By M. Mellody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book - the printed version at least - is one of the best available sources of Michael Collins' secret work from the beginning of the rebellion during the First World War to Collins' death. It would, I think, not be too much to say that it is the only book to cover in detail Collins' relationships with his female collaborators and with the women in his personal life, most of who are almost ignored in other histories of the time. The result is a much clearer and more rounded view of Collins. Of particular importance are the excellent illustrations which really make all the difference in bringing people to life in the reader's mind.

It must be pointed out (and this is something that should have noted on the title page of the book but wasn't), there are no illustrations in the Kindle editions which makes the Kindle edition unsuitable for research purposes. Readers interested in gaining the most out of the book should buy the printed version.
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Collins 9 Jan 2013
By irish lad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. Another in my search about M. Collins and Ireland. Have been researching everything about M. Collins and the fight for freedom in Ireland.
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