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Grace O’Malley is unique as the only woman recorded on the famous Baptista Boazio map of Ireland (1599), a tribute to the status she achieved as a leader on land and at sea in the 16th century. In 1979 Anne Chambers’ original biography of this famous Irishwoman, who over the centuries had been airbrushed from historical record, put her on the map once again. The biography became a milestone in Irish publishing and the catalyst for the restoration of Grace O’Malley to political, social and maritime history, as well as establishing her as an inspirational female role model in the classroom.
In the 40th anniversary edition of this international bestselling biography, drawn from rare contemporary manuscript records, the author presents Ireland’s great pirate queen not as a vague mythological figure but as one of the world’s most extraordinary female leaders. Political pragmatist and tactician, rebel, intrepid mariner and pirate, wife, lover, mother, grandmother and matriarch, the ‘most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland’, Grace O’Malley challenged and triumphed over the social and political barriers she encountered in the course of her long, pioneering life.
Breaching boundaries of gender imbalance and bias in a period of immense social and political upheaval and change, Grace O’Malley rewrote the rules to become one of the world’s first recorded feminist trailblazers.
This updated anniversary edition brings Grace O’Malley’s story to a new generation awakened to the global focus on gender equality as well as positive ageing.