Being Mary?

Irish Catholic Immigrant Women and Home and Community Building in Harold Hill Essex 1947 -1970

By Aenne Werner-Leggett

The history of Irish women in England has often been viewed from the outside and they were mostly seen as a social problem. Irish immigrant women especially do not often feature in historical research. Therefore, the achievements of Irish immigrant women are pushed outside the realm of general history, although their numbers had a large impact on particular areas in England. They were the reason behind an ever-growing Catholic Church and contributed to community spirit within the Church. Further, as they raised their children and worked in local schools, hospitals, and children's homes, they influenced the social life of their area. This dissertation explores the lives of Irish immigrant women in the newly-built Harold Hill Estate in Essex in the post-World War II period, with reference to the influence of the cult of the Virgin Mary upon those lives. The book analyzes the roles which they played in their families and in the community. In so doing, it examines how the cult of the Virgin was used to prepare these women for motherhood and, in a wider context, for their supportive and caring roles in their families and community. Dissertation. *** "This book offers excellent, original research to add to the growing body of work on Irish female immigrants to Britain, a somewhat neglected history....This kind of fine-grain study of a small community in Britain sheds light on perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs that are notoriously difficult to research in a historical context, and the work has immmense value in this regard." - Catholic Historical Review, Summer 2014~

296 pages

Publication Date: 9/21/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789490947767