From Syracuse's Irish Studies series comes this excellent biography of an exceptional, determined woman. Sheehy-Skeffington (18771946) disavowed her churchno light matter in the Ireland of her timewas considered a leftist, waged unceasing battles for women's rights and for peaceful political solutions to her country's problems, and was ``assertive'' long before it was fashionable. Ideally matched with Francis Skeffington (who attached her name to his own when they were married), she was a major figure in the Irish scene during the first half of the 20th century. After the murder of Francis at the behest of a British officer, Hanna continued to serve the cause of freedom as editor, author and lecturer popular on the American circuit as well as at home. Levenson wrote With Wooden Sword, a biography of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington; Natterstad is a professor of English who writes on Irish subjects. (March 24)
Johanna Mary (Hanna) Sheehy (1877-1946) was the daughter of a well-to-do Irish family who were prominent in Catholic, nationalist, and intellectual circles in late 19th-century Dublin. She became an advocate of women's suffrage and, eventually, of all feminist ideas, and opposed militant nationalism with pacifism and narrow, sectarian Catholicism with agnosticism and internationalism. She was supported and abetted by her husband, Francis Skeffington, until he was executed by British troops in a strange and disturbing incident of the 1916 rebellion. Hanna continued her activism for 30 years longer. This detailed, albeit somewhat plodding, biography is recommended for extensive collections of women's studies and Irish history. John Moran, SUNY Coll. at Fredonia Lib.