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This book is a masterly chronicle of the forgotten, ‘voiceless’ women in Dublin’s impoverished old communities. It is based upon thirty years of research trips to Dublin where the author gathered original oral testimony about the daily lives of mothers who struggled to survive in difficult, often dreadful, circumstances. What emerges is an intimate and poignant account and celebration of the mammies and grannies who held the fabric of family life together in an environment of hardship, and often cruelty.
This work covers the squalid tenement days of the early 1900s, through the mid-century decades of ‘slumland’ block flats, into the 1970s when deadly drugs infiltrated poor neighborhoods, terrified mothers and stole their children away from them. Telling vividly of how they coped with grinding poverty, huge families, pitiless landlords, the oppressive Church, dictatorial priests, feckless and often abusive husbands, the voices of the mammies and grannies from the Dublin slums course through this remarkable book. Yet, throughout their heroic struggle, they maintained an astonishing dignity, early wit, pride and resilient spirit.
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