Tributes to more than two dozen women born or resident in the Emerald Isles who scored firsts or otherwise made their marks as social, artistic, athletic, or scientific movers and shakers.
“Changed the World” may be overstating some cases, but with the possible exceptions of Mother Jones and Anne Sullivan, these 28 women will at least be new to young readers on this side of the Atlantic, and all are or were strong, colorful sorts. The chronological roster begins with 16th-century “Pirate Queen of Connacht” Granuaile (O’Malley), then skips ahead to 19th-century novelist Maria Edgeworth, physician Margaret Bulkley (who dressed as a man and practiced as Dr. James Barry), prominent nationalists such as Maud Gonne and Countess Markievicz, film star Maureen O’Hara, Olympians Maeve Kyle and Sonia O’Sullivan, astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and former Irish President Mary Robinson. Webb begins each single-page profile with references to her subject’s origins and social class, goes on to brief descriptions of noteworthy experiences or feats, and closes with a handful of additional facts or observations. O’Neill adds lifelike, usually full-body portraits of each figure in period or working dress and smiling confidently. A closing gallery offers eight younger up-and-comers for readers to get acquainted with—including two people of color, track star Gina Akpe-Moses and actor Ruth Negga, who diversify the otherwise all-white cast.
Far from comprehensive but a grand gathering of exploits and role models. (Collective biography. 8-11)