© 2017

Ascendancy Women and Elementary Education in Ireland

Educational Provision for Poor Children, 1788 - 1848

  • Provides the first book to explore the involvement of Irish Ascendancy women with educational provision for poor children

  • Draws on in-depth case studies of six Ascendancy women

  • Highlights the contributions of Ascendancy women in international and literary contexts


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Contexts, Capacities and Conditions

  3. Irish Ascendancy Women and Provision of Education: Case Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 149-149
    2. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 151-173
    3. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 175-198
    4. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 199-220
    5. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 221-244
    6. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 245-263
    7. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 265-284
    8. Eilís O’Sullivan
      Pages 285-308
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 309-339

About this book


This book outlines the lives of six female members of the Irish Ascendancy, and describes their involvement with educational provision for poor children in Ireland at the end of the long eighteenth century. It argues that these women were moved by empathy and by a sense of duty, and that they were motivated by political considerations, pragmatism and, especially, religious belief. The book highlights the women’s agency and locates their contribution in international and literary contexts; and by exploring sources and evidence not previously considered, it generates an enhanced understanding of Ascendancy women’s involvement with the provision of elementary education for poor Irish children. This book will appeal to scholars and researchers in the fields of Education and History of Education. It will also have broad appeal for those interested in Gender and Women’s Studies, in Georgian Ireland and in the history of Ascendancy families and estates.


munster poor the long eighteenth century Ireland's Ascendancy poor Irish women private donation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Mary Immaculate CollegeUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

About the authors

Eilís O’Sullivan lectures and supervises research on the history of education in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Bibliographic information