Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ireland’s Pirate Queen


Genre: Nonfiction, History, Ireland, Adventure
Original Publication Date: 1979


Read: 10 Jan – 22 Mar 2016

Summary: The first non-fiction book I read in a year that has me finishing a surprising number of them, Ireland’s Pirate Queen: The True Story of Grace O’Malley, 1530-1603 is about, well, Ireland’s Pirate Queen. Born around 1530 in what is now Connacht, Ireland, Granuaile Ó Máille was a surprising woman in her time. During difficult times for Irish and facing familial persecution from the English, Grace O’Malley took control of her own life and managed to keep it. Not only did she marry twice, divorce once, and give birth to a son on one ship in her fleet, she met with the Queen of England and was taken seriously.

Review: Although some of the Irish names had me stumbling a bit, this was a good look into Ireland in the late 1500s. I was amazed at Grace’s story, not just because she was female, but also because she was damn impressive! The narrative could’ve benefitted from less political talk and more description of her actions; I often felt bogged down by the political details, the names, and the Irish geography. I have the benefit of currently living in Ireland, though, so I have access to Irish for background clarification and pronunciation.

Recommendation: If you like true tales of pirates, awesome women of history, and/or Irish history, I highly recommend this book.

More Info

Publisher: MFJ Books
Edition Publication Date: 2003
Edition ISBN: 9781567318586

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