Anne Chambers, author of Grace O’Malley, The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen honoured at the O’Malley Clan Chieftain’s Awards

Anne Chambers was presented with the prestigious ‘Contribution to the Arts Award’ for her biography Grace O’Malley; The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen at the annual O’Malley Gathering in Limerick last weekend.


In 1979 Anne Chambers’ original biography of Grace O’Malley, who over the centuries had been airbrushed from historical record, put her on the map once again. Drawn from rare contemporary manuscript records, Anne’s research presents Ireland’s great pirate queen, not as a vague mythological figure but as one of the world’s most extraordinary female leaders.


The biography became a milestone in Irish publishing and the catalyst for the restoration of Grace O’Malley to political, social and maritime history, as well as establishing her as an inspirational female role model in the classroom. Breaching boundaries of gender imbalance and bias in a period of immense social and political upheaval and change, Grace O’Malley rewrote the rules to become one of the world’s first recorded feminist trailblazers.


Celebrating the 40th anniversary of her book, Anne was presented with the ‘Contribution to the Arts Award’ during the 65th annual O’Malley Gathering in Limerick City last weekend. The event was organised by the O’Malley Clan Association, formed in Westport in 1953 to foster links between O’Malley’s around the globe.

Available now, the 40th anniversary of edition of Grace O’Malley; The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen includes a special foreword from Mary McAleese and authors note.


Praise for Anne Chambers

‘A superbly researched work…it salvages the 16th century Mistress of the Western Waves from the rather frivolous folklore which surrounds her.’ Irish Times

‘Anne Chambers is one of the rare exceptions. She has that quality rare in historians of seeing, feeling and understanding the period she writes about as if she were a contemporary.’ Irish Independent.

While Granuaile is a well-established legendary figure it was left to Ms Chambers to present us with a historical reality which is equally if not more compelling than the legend.’ Sunday Tribune


About the Author:

Anne Chambers is a biographer, novelist and screenplay writer. Her books include TK Whitaker: Portrait of a Patriot; Eleanor, Countess of Desmond; Ranji: Maharajah of Connemara; At Arm’s Length — Aristocrats in the Republic of Ireland; and Granuaile: Sea Queen of Ireland (for children).

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