Susan Langstaff Mitchell 1866

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Susan Mitchell (1866-1926) was an Irish writer and poet, known for her satirical verse.

She was born in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim where her father, Michael Thomas Mitchell was manager of the Provincial Bank. Her mother was Kate (aka Catherine Theresa) Cullen who moved to Sligo with her sons following the untimely death of her husband.  Her daughters were sent to be raised by relatives. 

The fifth of seven children, she was sent to Dublin age 6. She lived with her three aunts on Wellington Road, who gave her an Anglo-Irish education at Miss Abbott’s school on Morehampton Road, Dublin. This Mitchell later described:

“An Irish girl … is given only the barest outline of the history of her own country and always in a subservient and secondary place to the histories of other countries… At the most enquiring and receptive age, when the strings of being are most sensitive, a heavy hand is laid on the wires and all their melody is muted.” [Red Headed Rebel: Susan Mitchell, Poet and Mystic of the Irish Cultural Renaissance, by Pyle, Hilary, 1998].

Mitchell later attended Trinity College Dublin, where she took  "women's examination" with honours. Susan was a dear friend of the older John B. Yeats and was especially close to his daughter Lily. The above portrait of Susan L Mitchell (1899), by John Butler Yeats is held at the National Gallery of Ireland.

After returning to Dublin in 1899,  she worked as sub-editor of The Irish Homestead, with George ‘AE’ Russell as editor. In his collection The Divine Vision (1904) Susan was among Russell’s dedications.

In spite of being plagued with TB, Susan frequently published a number of poems and satirical commentaries in various magazines. Her ballads were celebrated in Dublin’s social circles and in 1901 her book of ballads, Aids to the Immortality of Certain Persons in Ireland … Charitably Administered, was published.

In 1923 she composed ‘The Wail of the Pseudo-Gael’, a satire mocking the dreams (hers and fellow writers) of a cultural Ireland that was never to be.

On March 4th, 1926, following an operation, from which she never fully recovered, Susan Mitchell passed away in a nursing home.


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Additional Information
Date of Birth 5th Dec 1866  
Date of Death 4th Mar 1926  


Susan Mitchell Biography (Women's Museum of IRL) Ireland VIEW SOURCE
The Irish Times: Susan Mitchell VIEW SOURCE

Communities Associated with this Ancestor