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Mary Peckham Magray argues that the Irish Catholic cultural revolution in the nineteenth century was spearheaded not by male elites, as previous scholarship has claimed, but rather by those most overlooked and underestimated women in Ireland: the nuns. Once thought to be merely passive servants of the male clerical hierarchy, women's religious orders were in fact at the very centre of the creation of a devout Catholic culture in Ireland. Magray's innovative work challenges some of most widely held assumptions of social history in nineteenth century Ireland.

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