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Somerville & Ross: A Lasting Legacy


"It was in October, 1887, that we began what was soon to be known to us as 'The Shocker,' and 'The Shaughraun,' to our family generally as 'that nonsense of the girls,' and subsequently, to the general public as 'An Irish Cousin'.

Given that 'every man's hand was against' them in their desire to 'commence author', E. OE. Somerville (1858-1949) and Martin Ross's (1862-1915) manuscript papers at Queen's not only represent the stunning and rarely divulged multiplicity, professionalism, and inexhaustible literary output of the two Irish 'shockers', but also survive as a potent symbol of female determination in the face of nineteenth-century social and family gender conventions.

An important and unique collection reflecting the lives, interests and work of the two authors, The Somerville and Ross archive at Queen's consists largely of  literary papers, personal correspondence, diaries, and Somerville's pen and wash book illustrations and pencil sketches.

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