Letters — May & James: A Private love in a Revolutionary Year, 1916

With an introduction written by Professor Susan Schreibman, Professor of Digital Humanities, Maynooth University

BookCover (2)

When she died after 50 years of widowhood, we found a hidden trove of more than 90 love letters carefully tied in ribbons; they had been written in 1916 as she and her fiance approached their wedding day that June. Great historic changes were playing out in Ireland at the same time. Their world was being “changed utterly” but did they really understand it? Through their eyes we can see another side of Ireland in 1916 and follow their daily concerns and tender love as it grows. These letters are featured in RTE’s major 1916 commemorative documentary “’16 Letters” to be shown Easter 2016.

“When we were looking for stories to include in our production – ’16 Letters (RTE One 2016)- the Finn Fay letters were an easy and immediate choice.
it’s an incredible series of 100 letters between James Finn and his sweetheart and fiancée, May Fay. They cover a myriad of themes from the expected declarations of love and romance and marriage to the fallout from the Risings – the hasty Courts Martial, Executions and Internments, the impact on everyday life and routine and fears of political upheaval. To have these letters at our disposal is a wonderful testimony to those who kept and preserved them for another generation to enjoy.”
Paula Williams – ’16 Letters.

TV interview discussing the letters

Author Profile on Letters 1916 site