Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

August Books 23) Eleanor, Countess of Desmond, by Anne Chambers

I think this may have been Chambers' first book, before her best selling biography of Grainne O'Malley, the pirate queen. It is journeyman stuff; there is no very clear differentiation between other people's research, Chambers' own findings, and her speculation about Eleanor's mind-set as she witnessed the collapse of her husband's mini-kingdom in south-west Ireland and the political shape of the island was changed forever. I could have done with a bit more on the bigger picture, and perhaps also some reflection of the plentiful research that has been done on women in sixteenth-century Ireland.

Eleanor was a contemporary of my ancestor Sir Nicholas White, and I was hoping that he might put in an appearance. He is just offscreen twice - they came within spitting distance of each other on 17 June 1580, White being part of the punitive expedition sent deep into Desmond territory that summer; and in 1592-93, Eleanor was tending to her sickly son held captive in the Tower of London while White was slowly dying there. they must have met up on the battlements occasionally to discuss old times, not that it did either of them much good. Chambers doesn't mention him anyway, which is fair enough.
Tags: bookblog 2013, people: sir nicholas white, tudor ireland
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