Who was the Irish Bridget? What relevance does her story have to the history of Irish immigration to America? Learn the answers to these questions in Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan’s presentation “The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930” which is based on her book of the same name.
The young Irish immigrant girls who labored as cooks, maids and nannies in middle and upper class homes in urban America were once the stock figures of ridicule in popular American magazines such as Harper’s Weekly. Dr. Lynch-Brennan will use photographs and personal letters the Irish Bridget’s wrote to one another to give insight into their lives. She will discuss their work life, their social life, the impact they had on Irish-American life, and their contribution to American ethnic history, labor history and women’s history. Copies of the book will be available for signature and sale following the talk.
MARGARET LYNCH-BRENNAN is currently a Public Scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities. She earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University at Albany, State University of New York. She has given presentations in Ireland, Australia, Germany and throughout the United States. She worked with the Lower East Side Tenement House Museum in New York City as a consultant on the interpretation of Irish immigrant Bridget Meehan Moore in the Museum’s Moore family tenement. In addition to “The Irish Bridget,” Dr. Lynch-Brennan is the author of chapters in three other books and two journals. She taught at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels, and retired from the New York State Education Department after 30 years of service. She lives near Albany, New York.