The Big Fellow. A Life of Michael Collins. Association Copy (1937)
Author: Frank O'Connor
Book ID: 65040
The Big Fellow. A Life of Michael Collins. London: Thomas Nelson, 1937. First Edition. Pp xiv, 298, . Frontispiece plate from the bust by Doyle-Jones. Green cloth boards, lightly worn.
Inscribed by Frank O’Connor to Alice Lyons a member of the Secretariat who accompanied Arthur Griffith & Michael Collins to the treaty negotiations in London. Ex libris Richard Mulcahy, signed & dated and with his annotations throughout the text.
Important association copy.
After the 1916 rising Michael Collins & Richard Mulcahy were interned at the Frongoch Internment Camp in North Wales. By December 1916 all the Irish prisoners had been repatriated and the camp was closed down. Mulcahy became the first Chief of Staff of the army in March 1918 and Commander in Chief on the 22nd August 1922 when Michael Collins met his untimely death. Mulcahy’s celebrated Order to the Army on 23rd was: ‘Stand calmly to your posts. Bend bravely and undaunted to your work. Let no cruel act of reprisal blemish your bright honour. Every dark hour that Michael Collins met since 1916 seemed but to steel that bright strength and temper his gay bravery. You are left each inheritors of that strength and that bravery .. The Army serves, strengthened by its sorrow.’ After the resignation of W. T. Cosgrave in 1944 he became Leader of Fine Gael but his role in the Civil War executions carried out under the Cosgrave government in the 1920 meant he did not become Taoiseach.
Alice Lyons and her sister Ellie were two of four women chosen as secretaries for the Treaty delegation. The Lyons sisters came from Dublin, where they both trained as stenographers. They worked as typists for Michael Collins in the fledgling Department of Finance from 1920 and were valuable members of staff during the War of Independence.
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