At the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Stewart Parnell, MP, was the only man who both the English government and Irish radicals believed could secure Home Rule for Ireland. But when Parnell met and fell in love with Kitty O'Shea, a married woman, Parnell's life - and Ireland's history - would change for ever. When Parnell was named as co-respondent in Kitty's divorce and revealed as the father of three of Kitty's children it would trigger the most notorious scandal of the Victorian era.Elisabeth Kehoe's vivid biography introduces us to a woman who is unrecognisable from the home-wrecker and historical catastrophe she is commonly seen as. From this book emerges, for the first time, the real Katie O'Shea: a gifted woman bound by impossible financial and social restrictions who influenced political policy with an acuity and sensitivity sorely lacking in her Irish lover. Ireland's Misfortune is a compelling account of one of history's most misunderstood women and offers a fresh insight into a defining moment in Irish history.
Elisabeth Kehoe took her doctorate in history at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she now teaches. Her first book Fortune's Daughters: The Extravagant Lives of the Jerome Sisters was published by Atlantic Books in 2004.