Tuesday, 15 January 2019

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15 January 1860: The birth of Eleanor Hull, historian and translator on this day. She was born in England to a family from Co Down. The biography of her early life is somewhat sketchy but at some stage she or her family must have moved to Dublin where she attended what was then one of the most prestigious girls schools in the Country - Alexandra College. It was perhaps there that her interest in ancient Irish manuscripts & the Gaelic Language  took hold?

We know that at the inaugural general meeting of the Irish Texts Society on 26 April 1898 which was held at the rooms of the ILS in London. Douglas Hyde was unanimously elected president, and Frederick York Powell chairman of the executive council. 

Norma Borthwick and Eleanor Hull were appointed honorary secretaries and R.A.S. Macalister became honorary treasurer.
The other members of the executive council included Goddard Orpen, Alfred Nutt, Thomas Flannery, J.G. O’Keeffe, Daniel Mescal, G.A. Greene and M. O’Sullivan. Eight vice-presidents were elected and the consultative council included many of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Celtic studies.

She certainly was a prolific writer on early Irish History and Legends:
Her published works include:
The Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature (1898)
Pagan Ireland (Dublin, 1904 & 1923)
Early Christian Ireland
A Text Book of Irish Literature (2 volumes) (1906)
The Poem-Book of the Gael (London, 1912)
The Northmen in Britain (New York, 1913)
Folklore of the British Isles (1929)
A History of Ireland and her People (2 volumes) (1926)

The last of these being probably the one that has stood the test of time. Indeed it is a work (thanks to the wonders of the Internet) that I regularly consult for articles on this site:
She died in Wimbledon  England on 13 January 1935, two days shy of her 75th birthday.

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