American suffragette, feminist, and author Doris Stevens wrote a profile of Sinéad de Valera in summer 1921 that was sympathetic to Irish independence and published in U.S., Irish, British, and French newspapers. Stevens’ encounters with other Irish political and military figures provided additional glimpses of the country during the interregnum between the Truce of July 1921 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed in December of that year.
Before traveling to Dublin, Stevens attended a London performance of “The Whiteheaded Boy,” by Cork-born dramatist Lennox Robinson. She jotted in her journal:
“Made me realize all over again what a marvelous and also terrible race the Irish are. Also in the realism of this play it seemed to me that Ireland was a nation that had lived on its nerves for centuries. Each human being was like a powder magazine ready to break out at the least spark. This could only happen to a race whose normal and original sensitiveness had been transformed into a super sensitiveness, a disease of national magnitude, through centuries of doubt, misapprehension, and fear.
See my full piece on The Irish Story website.