RDS Library & Archives

Kearns, Kevin Corrigan.

Working class heroines : the extraordinary women of Dublin's tenements / Kevin C. Kearns. - 406 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white) ; 24 cm

Originally published as Dublin's lost heroines : mammies and grannies in a vanished city : Gill & Macmillan, 2004.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"In Working Class Heroines acclaimed historian Kevin C. Kearns brings us the voices of the forgotten women of Dublin's tenements. If it weren't for his work the lives of these everyday heroines would be lost forever. Based on 30 years of research spent interviewing and recording the life stories of the working-class women of Dublin, it covers the squalid tenement days of the early 1900s, through the mid-century decades of `slumland' block flats, and into the 1970s when deadly drugs infiltrated poor neighbourhoods, terrifying mothers and stealing away their children. What emerges is an intimate and poignant celebration of the mammies and grannies who held the fabric of family life in an environment of hardship and, often, cruelty. Through vivid tales of how they coped with grinding poverty, huge families, pitiless landlords, the oppressive Church, dictatorial priests, feckless and often abusive husbands, these remarkable women shine with astonishing dignity, wit, pride and a resilient spirit, despite their struggles. Working Class Heroines gives voice and pays tribute to the long silent, unsung heroines who were the indispensable caretakers of both family and community, and remains one of the most important Irish feminist documents of our times." - Copac

9780717183517 (pbk.)


Women college students--History--Ireland--Dublin--20th century.
Poor--History--Ireland--Dublin--20th century.


Dublin (Ireland)--History--20th century.
Ballymun (Dublin, Ireland)--Social conditions--20th century.
Docklands (Dublin, Ireland)--Social life and customs--20th century

941.835

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