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Authors: Anne Chambers

Pirate Queen of Ireland

BOOK: Pirate Queen of Ireland
9.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


About the author

is a best-selling biographer
who has received acclaim from critics and the reading public.
She has been shortlisted for the GPA and Hennessy literary awards,
and lectures extensively on the subjects of her books which
have been adapted for television and widely translated.

About the illustrator

has a BA in Design from the Dublin Institute of
Technology. She has illustrated various other children's titles.


The Collins Press

West Link Park




© Anne Chambers 2006, 2013

© Original drawings Deirdre O'Neill

Anne Chambers has asserted her moral right to be identified as author of this work in accordance with the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.

The material in this publication is protected by copyright law. Except as may be permitted by law, no part of the material may be reproduced (including by storage in a retrieval system) or transmitted in any form or by any means, adapted, rented or lent without the written permission of the copyright owners. Applications for permissions should be addressed to the publisher.

Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-84889-192-0

PDF eBook ISBN: 978-1-84889829-5

EPUB eBook ISBN: 978-1-84889830-1

mobi ISBN: 978-1-84889831-8

Typesetting of the print edition by The Collins Press

Cover design by Artmark

Cover illustration by Gilly Cullen


Seafarers are a special breed of people. Earning a living from the sea has always been a risky and dangerous business.

Even today, despite modern ship design and state-of-the-art satellite, computer and navigational equipment, a career at sea remains the choice of a brave few.

For those courageous enough to sail the oceans of the world, their names have been enshrined in history.

During the sixteenth century, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh were among the most famous seafarers.

But during that time, nearer to home, lived another great seafarer whose story is less well known.

Her name was Grace O'Malley (Gráinne Ní Mháille), better known in Ireland as Granuaile.

And perhaps because she was a woman, Granuaile, unlike her male contemporaries, was not remembered in history. The sea was supposed to be for men only and seafaring was not thought a suitable career for a woman.

That is until Granuaile showed she was just as good a seafarer as any man and, without doubt, ‘the most famous feminine sea-captain' of the sixteenth century.

For over 50 years she commanded a fleet of ships on the coasts of Ireland, Scotland and northern Spain. Like the other famous sailors of that time, she was a pirate as well as a sea trader.

But Granuaile was a powerful leader on land as well as sea. She commanded her own army, leading them personally into battle.

The English accused her of being ‘the nurse to all rebellions' in Ireland and a ‘chief director of thieves and murderers at sea'. But they also acknowledged her great ability and courage.

Granuaile was shrewd and calculating in her dealings with the English, especially with their queen, Elizabeth I. It was perhaps fitting that one day Granuaile and Elizabeth would come face to face.

The story of Granuaile is the story of one woman's courage and daring to be different in a time of great political unrest, and in one of the earth's most dangerous environments, the sea.

BOOK: Pirate Queen of Ireland
9.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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