Monday, February 19, 2007

About Grace O'Malley

Thanks to the 1996 children's book by Emily Arnold McCully, my namesake foremother Grace O'Malley (in the original Irish, Gráinne Ni Mháille) is best known as The Pirate Queen. O'Malley (1530-1603) overcame male prejudice and, from her castle on Clare Island, controlled a swath of the West of Ireland. Legend has it that O'Malley fought off an attack at sea while nursing her day-old son, and wrested from England's Queen Elizabeth I a concession to ply her trade along Ireland's coast. She was an early, powerful nonstate actor.

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