The life and networks of Pamela Fitzgerald, 1773-1831
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This thesis assesses the life of Pamela Fitzgerald. Crucially, it will attempt to tell the story of Pamela Fitzgerald from her own perspective, rather than the viewpoint of her husband, which has dominated for so long. The structure of the thesis follows the chronology of Pamela’s life from her birth, around 1773, to her death in 1831. Chapter one considers the period from 1773 to 1792. The main issue of this chapter is the debate about Pamela’s birth. Moreover, the chapter places Pamela’s early life within the networks of Madame de Genlis, the political backdrop of the early French Revolution and, particularly the Reign of Terror, the main factors in both Pamela’s departure from France and her marriage to Lord Edward Fitzgerald. The second chapter focuses on Pamela’s experiences in Ireland between 1793 and 1797. This chapter intertwines Pamela’s domestic and political lives, assessing her relationship with the Fitzgerald family network, her life as wife and mother, and her involvement in radical politics. The third chapter covers the pivotal year in Pamela’s life: 1798. This chapter analyses the build-up to the 1798 Rebellion, and Pamela’s and Edward’s involvement. It traces the manner in which Pamela coped with the Edward’s death and the circumstances in which she found herself. The fourth chapter encompasses the final thirty two years of Pamela’s life, covering her continuing relationship with the Fitzgeralds, her second marriage, to Joseph Pitcairn, her contacts with Madame de Genlis and, more generally, the challenges of her life in Hamburg, England, Austria and France in the early nineteenth century. Pamela died, in 1831, in the Hôtel Danube on the outskirts of Paris.
Keywords1798 Irish Rebellion
Women and politics