The World Upturning: Elsie Henry's Irish Wartime Diaries, 1913-1919

TitleThe World Upturning: Elsie Henry's Irish Wartime Diaries, 1913-1919
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHenry, Elsie, and Clara Cullen
Number of Pages274

Elsie Henry's (1881-1956) diaries from 1913-1919 are a personal record of wartime life in Ireland and of her own work at the Red Cross depot at the College of Science in Dublin. She writes of her concerns for her brothers and for her friends fighting in World War I with the British and Canadian forces in France and Mesopotamia, as well as of her father's war work in London. These diaries, which began in the first year of her residence in Ireland and continued as a war record, display information received daily by an ordinary citizen and also include newspaper cuttings and letters. However, the diaries have a wider historical value. Through her Stopford relations, Elsie Henry had long-standing family connections to important Anglo-Irish families, and, through her aunt Alice Stopford Green, she met a more nationalist political group. In her Dublin home, Elsie entertained a fascinating array of people - such as W.B. Yeats, Eoin McNeill, Bulmer Hobson, and AE - and she faithfully recorded their discussions in her diary. Although there is no evidence that Elsie had any sympathy for a more extreme Irish nationalism, her diary entries provide a unique record of the intimate thoughts of many nationalists and shed new light on their motives and subsequent roles in the making of an independent Ireland. 

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