The Forgotten Women Who Brought Liam O’Flaherty to Soviet Russia

I was recently invited to address the Liam and Tom O'Flaherty Society on the subject of my research. It was an opportunity too good to miss - the festival takes place on the island of Inis Mor, one of my favourite places in Ireland, and I had quite a story to tell. The talk, entitled To…

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What Would a Progressive History Festival Look Like?

On Sunday, Kevin Myers, a columnist beloved of Irish editors in search of "controversy", was fired from the Sunday Times due to anti-Semitic comments. That very same day, Myers spoke at the Cork History Festival. These events and the social media conversation surrounding them got me thinking about the roster of speakers and topics we find at history festivals.…

Alida, Emmy, Elisa – Kaemmerer, Leonhard, de Jager

    Tracing a life lived across several continents can be tricky – especially when the person you are tracing regularly changed her name. I have found the woman known variously as Emmy de Jager, Elisa Kaemmerer, Alida de Jäger, Alida Leonhard and Alida von Leonhard Kämmerer in some unusual places; flirting with soldiers in…

When the Bolsheviks Came to Dublin

Amidst the commemorations of the Easter Rising in March of 2016, no mention was made of a Russian connection to the seismic events that took place in Dublin one hundred years previously. Remarkably, however, a small delegation of Bolsheviks was in fact dispatched to the capital shortly after the republican insurrection took place. The precise…