Maud Gonne was an Irish revolutionary, suffragette, actress and a romantic muse for William Butler Yeats, as well as the mother to Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Sean MacBride.
Maud Gonne was born near Farnham, Surrey, England. She founded the Irish Nationalist group, Inghinidhe na hÉireann (The Daughters of Ireland). She had a relationship with poet, William Butler Yeats and was the inspiration for some of his poems.
In 1897, along with Yeats and Arthur Griffith, she organised protests against Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In April 1902, she took a leading role in Yeats’s play Cathleen Ní Houlihan. She portrayed Cathleen, the ‘old woman of Ireland’, who mourns for her four provinces, lost to the English colonisers.
In 1903, she married Major John MacBride and the couple’s son, Sean MacBride, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974.
Maud Gonne MacBride published her autobiography in 1938, titled A Servant of the Queen, a reference to a both a vision she had of the Irish queen of old, Caitlin Ní Houlihan and an ironic title considering Gonne’s Irish Nationalism and rejection of the British Queen.
She died in Clonskeagh, aged 86 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.