SKINNIDER, Margaret. Doing My Bit for Ireland.
Out of stock
Illustrated. New York: The Century Co., 1917. Foolscap octavo. pp. x, , 251. Green cloth, title in black on upper cover with a gilt Celtic cross. Ex-libris Boston College, withdrawn. Neat initials of Bob O’Neill. A near fine copy in a rare and very good dust jacket. Very scarce.
Margaret Skinnider (1892-1971) revolutionary and feminist was born in 1893 to Irish parents in the Lanarkshire town of Coatbridge. She trained as a mathematics teacher and joined Cumann na mBan in Glasgow, she was also involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Glasgow. Ironically she had learned to shoot in a rifle club which had originally been set up so that women could help in defence of the British Empire. During her trips to Ireland Skinnider came under the influence of Constance Markievicz and became active in smuggling detonators and bomb-making equipment into Dublin (in her hat) in preparation for the 1916 Easter Rising. She along with Madeleine french-Mullen spent time in the hills around Dublin testing dynamite.
As a bicycle courier for the Citizen Army, Margaret Skinnider saw more of the Rising than most officers, and her account of the Rising is by far the most comprehensive description by any participant. It is primary historical evidence, and is of particular importance as the only eyewitness report of Countess Markievicz’ firing on British officers (not RIC, as sometimes claimed) at Harcourt Street. The Celtic Cross on the upper cover is a replica of the Cross presented to the author with the inscription: “The Cumann-na-mBan and Irish Volunteers, Glasgow, present this to Margaret Skinnider for the work she did for Ireland, Easter Week, 1916.”
[Cat 148 Porch]
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