The Pirate Queen

£8.00

Grace O’Malley through the lens of her 10 year old great granddaughter Maude. A vividly realised story of solidarity, courage and resistance across the generations. Historically rich, with a lively cast of female characters, it is a story about the power of stories: to, succour, inspire, and spur us on to dare and defy in our turn.

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Description

Set in Ireland in 1650, The Story of the Pirate Queen takes as its subject the life of the Irish clan chief and pirate Grace O’Malley – or Grainne ni Mhaille – who spent her life fighting the forces of Elizabeth I before sailing up the Thames for a summit meeting with the English queen. In the book, Grace’s ten-year-old great great granddaughter Maude is being told the story of her ancestor by her tutor, Catherine, on the eve of her betrothal to a much older man in an arranged marriage. As Catherine gradually learns why Maude has been summoned to a castle at the edge of the Atlantic, her tales of Grace’s rebellion and bravery take on more urgency. But can Maude resist her father’s will? What will she make of Grace’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth? And is Catherine endangering them both?
Interwoven into these narratives is an extract from a play Catherine has written about the meeting of Grace and Elizabeth. This turns a straightforward pirate story into an exploration of the function of fiction itself: what are stories for? Can – and do – they belong to anyone?
‘Lively, lyrical and engrossing, The Pirate Queen brings to life the tale of the Irish Boudicca, a fearless leader whose story is used by a rebellious governess to inspire her pupil to resist a forced marriage. I found it irresistible.’ – Miranda Seymour, Biographer
‘…A cracking story which seamlessly spans the decades.’ – Dr Gillian Kenny, Historian, Trinity College Dublin
‘A compelling and vividly realised story of solidarity, courage and resistance‚Ķ a story about the power of stories’ – Fran Lock, Poet

Reviews

‘Lively, lyrical and engrossing, the novel brings the past to life in the tale of the Irish Boudicca, a fearless leader whose story is used by a rebellious governess to inspire her pupil to resist a forced marriage. I found it irresistible.’

Miranda Seymour, biographer

 

‘With tremendous storytelling flair, The Pirate Queen recasts one of Ireland’s unknown heroines and places her adventures centre stage. Exploring female resilience and strength, and the power of stories to shape the world, I loved this brief but buoyant novel.’

Ruth Gilligan, bestselling author of The Butchers

 

‘Pirate Queen is a compelling and vividly realised story of solidarity, courage and resistance across the generations. Historically rich, with a lively and complex cast of female characters, it is also a story about the power and importance of stories: to, succour, inspire, and spur us on to dare and defy in our turn. A wonderfully engaging and timely book.’

Fran Lock, poet

 

‘It does a great job of bringing a very complex period of history to life with fascinating female characters and a cracking story which spans the decades seamlessly.’

Dr Gillian Kenny, historian