Saint Martin's Cloak

 

The manuscript of St Martin's Cloak, a draft novel by Cork writer Susanne Rouvier Day, was purchased by Cork City Libraries in 2013. It consists of 349 sheets and shows proof notes from the author and her literary agent. The novel draws on Day's experiences as a Church of Ireland relief agent who assisted the Society of Friends (Quakers) at the front during the First World War.

Susanne Rouvier Day (1876–1964), writer and suffragist, was born on 24 April 1876 at her parents' residence in Sidney Place in Cork city. She came to prominence locally through her work as co-founder (with Edith Somerville) and secretary of the non-militant Munster Women's Franchise League, and from 1911 as one of Cork's first female poor-law guardians. She was also a member of the Cork branch of the Irishwomen's Suffrage Federation. She left Ireland for France in 1916, and worked as a Church of Ireland relief agent in support of the Society of Friends (Quakers) at the war front. Drawing on these experiences she wrote Round about Bar-le-Duc (1918), a series of reflections on her work before and after the battle of Verdun. Returning to Cork, she resided at the family home of Myrtle Hill House off Lover's Walk, which she inherited on her mother's death in 1914, but by the early 1930s she was again living in France. She continued to write, producing a travelogue, Where the mistral blows (1933) and more plays, among them The dark horse and Sixes and sevens, which were staged at the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester. During the Second World War she lived in Chelsea, London, and worked for the London Fire Service. She remained single and died in London on 26 May 1964. 
(Source: Dictionary of Irish Biography, and Brendan Goggin)  

Saint Martin's Cloak (52MB)
Saint Martin's Cloak (15MB)

Cork City Libraries is grateful to Brendan Goggin, retired Registrar at Cork Institute of Technology and resident of Montenotte Park, for helping us to acquire this manuscript.

Saint Martins Cloak Cover

 3 Sidney Place 1887

Susanne Rouvier Day in the Mikado 1901

Above left: 3 Sidney Place (off  Saint Patrick's Hill) as photographed by ‌John Day in 1887. This was the birthplace of Susanne Rouvier Day  
Above right: Susanne Rouvier Day, detail from photograph of cast of a 1901 production of The Mikado by the Cork Amateur Opera Company.

Photographs kindly donated by Chris Ramsden.  

 

 

 

 

 

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