Hilary Pyle
Cesca’s Diary, 1913–1916: Where Art and Nationalism Meet

ISBN: 9781851322312

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Born in England into a unionist family, the artist Frances Georgiana Chenevix Trench became a convinced nationalist and quickly involved herself in the movement for Home Rule and political freedom in Dublin. Cesca, as she was better known, took the name Sadhbh Trinseach during the Gaelic Revival, and kept a detailed diary of her involvement in the nationalist movement as a member of Cumann na mBan, as well as a personal account of her presence in the Howth gun-running incident and the events of Easter Week 1916. Before the outbreak of the First World War she was at art school in Paris where she associated with students from other small countries seeking freedom. Her passion for Ireland affected her art, her love life, and her relations with her unionist family. Her seven manuscript journals, originally written in Irish, English and French, have been translated and set in the context of their times by Hilary Pyle. The book is heavily illustrated with her portrait sketches of friends and associates in the movement, as well as examples of her oil paintings and pastels. This is a fascinating account of a young woman in early twentieth century Ireland.