Friday, April 13, 2012
Born in England to a Scotch-Irish father and an English mother from a wealthy family and then educated in France, Maud Gonne couldn't help but be a sophisticated viewer of the human condition. A passionately committed revolutionary, Gonne fought for Irish freedom from the English throne and for France to regain Alsace-Lorraine from Germany. There is much made in the historical records of the fact that Gonne drove the well-known Irish poet William Butler Yeats wild with yearning, turning down no fewer than five proposals of marriage, but in typical in-your-face woman fashion, she seemingly felt no remorse for not returning his affections. Indeed, with two children out of wedlock to another man and two failed marriages to other men, Gonne was apparently married to the revolution and traveled widely through Europe and the United States advocating for Irish autonomy. Imprisoned at one point for her politics and her work, Gonne was quoted as saying, "I have always hated war and am by nature and philosophy a pacifist, but it is the English who are forcing war on us, and the first principle of war is to kill the enemy."