Hilary Pyle (ed)

The Sligo-Leitrim World of Kate Cullen, 1832–1913



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Kate Cullen’s lively manuscript is a riveting account of the close-knit life of Protestant Ireland, a society absorbed in its own triumphs and misfortunes, in its religion and fashions, and yet conscious that history was being made. During the 1840s Kate Cullen lived in Dublin, staying for periods in Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim. She witnessed the Famine, though she was cushioned from it. She married the bank manager in Carrick-on-Shannon; moving as a widow to Sligo to earn her living as manageress of the County Club. Kate remembered her experiences so vividly that around 1900 her daughter, Susan L. Mitchell, then a budding writer, persuaded her to dictate them, eager to learn of her own origins. Her memoir has an additional importance in the background that it reveals about Mitchell, one of the leading figures of the Irish literary revival, later distinguished as a poet and friend of Yeats, AE and Seumas O’Sullivan.