Hello Dálaigh: Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma
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Cantwell offers a feminist reading of Peter Tremayne’s (Peter Berresford Ellis’s) popular series set in medieval Ireland, arguing that Sister Fidelma’s authority as a dálaigh, or advocate of the law courts, advances the standing of the female detective. The chapter examines the detailed cultural backgrounds, which set crime in a socio-political context. Cantwell demonstrates that Tremayne’s treatment of progressive Celtic attitudes toward gender parity, intellectual accomplishment, and societal tolerance also critiques contemporary women’s issues, particularly motherhood. As a professional detective, Fidelma exemplifies the prominence of Irish women prior to the constricting influences of Rome and colonization. By employing the Brehon laws to restore social equilibrium, she endeavors to preserve her Celtic heritage.