WordPress Writing 101 Prompt #6: “Meeting” Grace O’Malley, badass Irish pirate lady | ascholarlyskater

The meeting of Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth I.

The meeting of Grace O’Malley and Queen Elizabeth I. [Wikipedia]

Originally posted on ascholarlyskater

Today’s prompt is to write about an interesting person that I have met. I have decided to expand my definition of the word “met” to include not just people I have literally met, but also anyone living or dead whose story I have become aware of and learned about. So, I have chosen someone who lived and died several hundred years ago, but whose story I have recently read in several different places and found fascinating.

Grace O’Malley (c. 1530-c. 1603), also known as Granuaile or Gráinne Ní Mháille in her native language, was a powerful Gaelic Irish chieftain and pirate, often referred to as the Sea Queen of Connacht after the area of Ireland from which she came. Grace hailed from a sea-faring family in County Clare that seems to have been very comfortable straddling the line between legitimate enterprises and piracy, and by all accounts, Grace began learning the family business at a young age. Both her father and her first husband were Gaelic chieftains, and her mother owned a large quantity of inherited family land, so under Gaelic social tradition, Grace stood to inherit a great deal. However, that didn’t stop her from seeking her own independent status and fortune by maintaining and commanding a fleet of ships that she used for piracy and for doing battle with…

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