Washington Square: 1837. By day, Mary Ballard is lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, wealthy and accomplished belle of New York City high society. Mary loves Charlotte with an obsessive passion that goes beyond a servant’s devotion, but Charlotte would never trust Mary again if she knew the truth about her devoted servant’s past. Because Mary’s fate is linked to that of her mistress, one of the most sought-after debutantes in New York, Mary’s future seems secure—if she can keep her own secrets…
But on her nights off, Mary sheds her persona as prim and proper lady’s maid to reveal her true self—Irish exile Maire O’Farren—and finds release from her frustration in New York’s gritty underworld—in the arms of a prostitute and as drinking companion to a decidedly motley crew consisting of a barkeeper and members of a dangerous secret society.
Meanwhile, Charlotte has a secret of her own—she’s having an affair with a stable groom, unaware that her lover is actually Mary’s own brother. When the truth of both women’s double lives begins to unravel, Mary is left to face the consequences. Forced to choose between loyalty to her brother and loyalty to Charlotte, between society’s respect and true freedom, Mary finally learns that her fate lies in her hands alone.
Through deeply personal essays that reflect on their own experience, research and art, some of the best-known Irish writers on both sides of the Atlantic commemorate the House’s anniversary by examining what has changed, and what has not, in Irish and Irish-American culture, art, identity, and politics since 1993.
In this essay, the author reflects upon the ways in which writing has influenced her scholarship, and the ways in which scholarship has inspired her fiction.
This modern epistolary tale is told through a series of emails addressed to the Office of the President at Miskatonic University, H.P. Lovecraft’s center of dark knowledge. Chief of Staff Evangeline Ambrose seems to spend most of her day triaging messages. From pushy parents to activist students and pleas for increased financial aid, no day in the life of MU would be complete without a macabre thread running through the chains of communication. "From the Inbox of Madness" peels back the layers of one of the University's darkest aspects: the central administration's bureaucracy.
As dawn creeps over the East River, two flappers with a penchant for Sappho discuss the history of the Manhattan. Sweetly romantic, this Prohibition-era short story features an exploration of immigration and identity-infused mixology.
As the newest maid in Madame Eliza Jumel’s grand mansion in Harlem Heights, Maggie
McArdle is far from her native Ireland. Though determined to make a new life for herself in New York, Maggie quickly grows lonely and isolated, dependent on her only friend, Friedrich. Urbane, charming, handsome: Friedrich seems too good to be true, and Maggie can’t believe that someone so wonderful would be interested in spending time with her. If only he hadn’t died a quarter century before she was even born ...