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Thread: Lia Clarke - Who precisely was she??

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    Politics.ie Member Casualbets's Avatar
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    Default Lia Clarke - Who precisely was she??

    I'm trying to find out more about Lia Clarke, someone I hadn't heard about before today. She was born in 1889 in Drogheda - in 1901 She was in school in Waterford - I can't find her in the 1911 census. Apparently she was a playwright/author (possibly also suffragette) who married the poet Austin Clarke around 1920 - the marriage apparently lasted only ten days, but he spent a year in a mental hospital recovering from it. She later moved to Nassau Street in Dublin and wrote for the Irish Press. She may have been involved in a pro-nazi fringe group during World War 2. She died in 1943.

    I'm very interested in finding out more about here, and in particular her early life and who her parents were.
    Last edited by Casualbets; 6th July 2010 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Getting facts right

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casualbets View Post
    I'm trying to find out more about Lia Clarke, someone I hadn't heard about before today. She was born in 1889 in Drogheda - in 1901 She was in school in Waterford - I can't find her in the 1911 census. Apparently she was a playwright/author (possibly also suffragette) who married the poet Austin Clarke around 1920 - the marriage apparently lasted only ten days, but he spent a year in a mental hospital recovering from it. She later moved to Nassau Street in Dublin and wrote for the Irish Press. She may have been involved in a pro-nazi fringe group during World War 2. She died in 1943.

    I'm very interested in finding out more about here, and in particular her early life and who her parents were.
    You can read newspapers of the time in the national library in dublin, i am sure you will get more information there.
    You can also get her birth certificate, this will give you some details, Parents etc. you can also get her marriage and death certs, it will cost less than 10 euro each. I would go down that road. Hope this is of help.

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    Politics.ie Member Casualbets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bored and fussy View Post
    You can read newspapers of the time in the national library in dublin, i am sure you will get more information there.
    You can also get her birth certificate, this will give you some details, Parents etc. you can also get her marriage and death certs, it will cost less than 10 euro each. I would go down that road. Hope this is of help.
    Hi, I used to be a regular visitor to the NLI, but unfortunately I'm confined to the house at the mo (for medical reasons, not house arrest I hasten to add). I do get birth certs for genealogical research, but I don't think they'd be much help here as she was probably illegitimate. Thank you for the advice though

    I'm was hoping there would be someone here as much a literary nerd as a political one that might know a bit about her....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casualbets View Post
    Hi, I used to be a regular visitor to the NLI, but unfortunately I'm confined to the house at the mo (for medical reasons, not house arrest I hasten to add). I do get birth certs for genealogical research, but I don't think they'd be much help here as she was probably illegitimate. Thank you for the advice though

    I'm was hoping there would be someone here as much a literary nerd as a political one that might know a bit about her....
    I did a little research recently I got a marriage cert, and the lady in question was illegitimate but it showed where they married and their witness's name and address. It was of help but maybe not for you. Hope you are not housbound for too long more.

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    Politics.ie Member Casualbets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bored and fussy View Post
    I did a little research recently I got a marriage cert, and the lady in question was illegitimate but it showed where they married and their witness's name and address. It was of help but maybe not for you. Hope you are not housbound for too long more.
    Well, the problem is that illegitimate births tended not to be registered....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casualbets View Post
    Well, the problem is that illegitimate births tended not to be registered....
    It certainly was stated on the marriage cert. that she was illegitimate and where she was from.

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    Politics.ie Member Casualbets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bored and fussy View Post
    It certainly was stated on the marriage cert. that she was illegitimate and where she was from.
    What I mean is that the birth wouldn't have been registered at all...

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    Cornelia Clarke appears in the 1901 census as a pupil of the Ursuline convent in Waterford.
    She wrote a bit and the following is from Whytes auctioneers
    "Novelist, playwright, art critic and psychic medium, Lia Clarke (1889-1943) was a woman of many parts. Born Cornelia Comyn (or Cummins) the daughter of Nicholas Comyn of Balinderry, Co. Galway, her mother’s family were Blakes from Co. Cork, from whom she inherited a private income derived from her grandfather’s business as a glass maker. She was raised in Waterford by an aunt’s family, the Jennings, but later moved to Dublin, where she became involved in literary and theosophical circles. Possibly it was her experiments in automatic writing that interested , who has captured her here with an inspired yet far away expression. In 1920 she married Austin Clarke, but the marriage lasted barely a fortnight. She later settled in Nassau Street, where she wrote articles for the Irish Press. A later portrait of her, by Gaetano de Gennaro, sold through these rooms (27 May 2006, lot 135); a photograph of her appears opposite."
    It also seems that Clarke's breakdown may have bee related to the death of his father.

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    Politics.ie Member Twin Towers's Avatar
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    If the marriage only lasted a fortnight why did she keep the name Clarke? Laterally Clarke's daughter bears more than a slight resemblance to the woman in Didimus post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin Towers View Post
    If the marriage only lasted a fortnight why did she keep the name Clarke? Laterally Clarke's daughter bears more than a slight resemblance to the woman in Didimus post.
    She never remarried and as far as i know they were never divorced.
    Clarke had spent some time in psychiatric care before his marriage.

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