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Irish homes and Irish hearts

Fanny Taylor (author)
Mary McAuliffe (author)
Mary McAuliffe (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
24th October 2013

Author Biography

Frances 'Fanny' Taylor (1832-1900) was an English-born convert to Catholicism who founded the congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God (SMG), taking the name Mother Mary Magdalen. She was also a prolific writer and publisher. Mary McAuliffe lectures in Women's Studies at University College Dublin and is currently President of the Women's History Association of Ireland (WHAI).


Between 1864 and 1867 Fanny Taylor made many trips to Ireland and Irish Homes and Irish Hearts (1867) is eye-witness account of her visits to the many Irish Catholic religious orders and their institutions: these include Magdalene homes, reform schools, lunatic asylums, orphanages, workhouses, infirmaries and schools. As with her earlier book Eastern Hospitals and English Nurses (1856) on her experiences nursing in the Crimea with both Florence Nightingale and the Irish Sisters of Mercy, Irish Homes and Irish Hearts was an immediate bestseller and was re-printed several times through the nineteenth century. Indeed the Dublin Review of Books, 1867, said that 'The chapter in which she sums up the result of her observations is truly admirable. It might serve for a small text-book of "the Irish question".' While Irish Homes and Irish Hearts is a relatively uncritical study of the philanthropic and educational activities of the Irish religious orders from the perspective of a well-informed outsider, it remains a valuable source of information for mid-nineteenth-century Irish social and religious history.