What to wear for a Revolution? Countess Constance Markievicz in Military Dress

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Abstract

CONSTANCE MARKIEVICZ (1868–1927) remains a contentious figure in the memory of the 1916 Easter Rising, not least because of her wholehearted advocacy of violence. With such a legacy how should we understand her premeditated act of commissioning photographs of herself in military-style dress just weeks before the insurrection? What to wear for a revolution might appear to be a frivolous dilemma, but it preoccupied Markievicz in the run-up to the Rising. This essay argues that recognizing these military portraits as the conscious production of what historian Guy Beiner might label a prememory text—as an attempt to preempt history—offers a means of accessing the hopes and anxieties of those aspiring to shape history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-122
JournalEire Ireland
Volume54
Issue number3 & 4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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