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.
INTRODUCTION Biographical Note by Mary McAuliffe
Notes on Introduction
Preface to original
- Irish Homes and Irish Hearts Poor Servants of the Mother of God
- Spirit and Spirituality
IRISH HOME AND IRISH HEARTS
‘As well as the attraction that this book will hold for those with an interest in Frances Taylor, the history of active religious orders, and social care in the Nineteenth Century, Irish Homes and Irish Hearts is an absorbing and enjoyable read. The most appealing element of the text is Taylor’s idiosyncratic narrative voice, which is here at its most passionate, opinionated and entertaining … it is this readable style, highly rendered detail and engagement with contemporary political issues which make Irish Homes and Irish Hearts a fascinating snapshot of Irish religious life and social care in nineteenth-century Ireland.’
Kate Harper, University of York, The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland, July 2015
You can read the full review here
'University College Dublin Press has now published over thirty ‘Classics of Irish History'. These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity.'
Books Ireland, November 2007
'Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press.'
Irish Literary Supplement, Fall 2008