book cover of Mother of All the Behans

Mother of All the Behans

The Autobiography of Kathleen Behan As Told to Brian Behan
A non fiction book by

This is the remarkable story of an:extraordinary woman - the redoubtableitKathleen Behan, who has presided overone of the most brilliant and controversial families of modern Ireland.Kathleen Behan entranced television audiences with her gaiety and wit, and her superb rendition of some of the great Irish songs and ballads, several of them written by members of her own family (such as her brother Peader, wTio wrote the Irish national anthem, and her son Dominic). Shortly afterwards she recalled her life in conversations with her son Brian, and this resulting autobiography tells a dramatic, sometimes tragic and often very funny story which embraces almost a century of Irish histoiy, with much of which she was intimately involved.Kathleen s first husband and her brother had been active in Easter Week, and afterwards she became housekeeper to Maud Gonne MacBride in her house on St Stephen s Green, where she was visited by Yeats and Joyce. Kathleen s later marriage to Stephen Behan produced a large family, including Brendan, the most famous post-war Irish writer and playwright, and Dominic and Brian Behan. Her story of her extraordinary family is compulsive reading, and through it comes a clear portrait of Kathleen herself - always on the side of the underdog, instinctively patriotic, religious in the broadest sense, her mind running with effortlessly poetic and pithy sayings. Mother of All the Behans is both a delightful read and a fascinating record of a remarkable life.

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