"A world turned upside down" a study of the changing social world of the landed nobility of County Meath, 1875-1945
Dooley, Terance (2001) "A world turned upside down" a study of the changing social world of the landed nobility of County Meath, 1875-1945. Riocht na Midhe, 12 . pp. 188-228.
Certainly it [one's life-story] cannot be written inpersonally. If one were to keep the teller out of it, it would be like a room without a fire, a book without a heart. Because it is a life. I make no claim for it, or excuse for it; but for those whom it interests, this is how we lived. And no one certainly will ever live like that again. [Lady Fingall, Seventy years young.] The above quote comes from the memoirs of Lady Elizabeth [Daisy] Fingall, which were published in 1937. She was born seventy-one years before, in 1866, the eldest daughter of George Burke of Danesfield in County Galway. In 1883, after something of a whirlwind romance, she married Arthur Plunkett, 11th Earl of Fingall, when she was just seventeen years old. Her memoirs essentially cover the period from the late 1870s to the late 1930s. As a social document they offer a valuable insight into what she herself rightly describes as "the twilight years" of the Irish landed class. Most particularly they describe the social lives of the Irish nobility into which Elizabeth Burke married. Her memoirs clearly illustrate that the nobility, who were invariably large landowners, moved usually, though not exclusively,in different social circles to the lesser gentry.(Elizabeth Burke's own experience demonstrates the exception to the rule here, for she was the daughter of an untitled middling-sized landowner who marries into the nobility.) They also show that the social lives of the nobility were much more varied and usually much more extravagant than those of the lesser gentry.
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