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Resolución Varonil or the manly resolve of Countess Mary Stuart O’Donnell

Author(s): Marie Gleeson Ó Tuathaigh

Journal: Estudios Irlandeses : Journal of Irish Studies
ISSN 1699-311X

Issue: 6;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Historic dramatic account | Crossdressing | Irish noble woman | Exile | Lady Mary Stuart

RESOLUCION VARONIL O VIAGE Que hiço en trage de Varon la Condesa de Tirconel by Alberto Enriquez, was published in Brussels in 1627. Written in Spanish, it gives an account of the adventures of Lady Mary Stuart (daughter of Rory Rory O’Donnell Earl of Tyrconnell, one of the most lamented earls who had left Ireland and gone into exile in 1607) and her dramatic flight, dressed as a man, from the court of Charles I, in London, in 1626. A close look at the account gives an insight into the world of patronage, preferment, suspicion and lobbying in which the immediate descendants of the Irish earls had to survive. In an era when women are rarely mentioned in contemporary historic accounts, except in relation to the importance of their father or husband, it is exceptional to have a first hand, amusing and quite unique account of the actions and feelings of this ‘mujer varonil’ who introduced herself in a peripheral, but fascinating way upon an otherwise all male stage. Finally, when considered in the context of contradictory contemporary witness reactions to this true story, we have to consider the possibility of quite a different rationale from that declared by Alberto Enriquez, for the publication of this very unusual account.
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