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The Secret of Kit Cavenaugh: A Remarkable Irishwoman and Soldier

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Christian – ‘Kit’ – Cavenaugh, born in 1667 in Dublin, grew up on a Leixlip farm. A dragoon in the Marlborough Wars, Kit led an adventurous life, courting women, fighting duels and arguing a paternity suit before the truth became known: Kit was a woman. After her husband and father of her three children, Richard Welsh, was press-ganged into the English army to fight in the Christian – ‘Kit’ – Cavenaugh, born in 1667 in Dublin, grew up on a Leixlip farm. A dragoon in the Marlborough Wars, Kit led an adventurous life, courting women, fighting duels and arguing a paternity suit before the truth became known: Kit was a woman. After her husband and father of her three children, Richard Welsh, was press-ganged into the English army to fight in the European wars of the early eighteenth century, Kit disguised herself as a man and enlisted to find him. When she finally came face to face with Richard in 1704 she was enraged to find him in the arms of a Dutch woman. Kit’s adventures did not end there ...


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Christian – ‘Kit’ – Cavenaugh, born in 1667 in Dublin, grew up on a Leixlip farm. A dragoon in the Marlborough Wars, Kit led an adventurous life, courting women, fighting duels and arguing a paternity suit before the truth became known: Kit was a woman. After her husband and father of her three children, Richard Welsh, was press-ganged into the English army to fight in the Christian – ‘Kit’ – Cavenaugh, born in 1667 in Dublin, grew up on a Leixlip farm. A dragoon in the Marlborough Wars, Kit led an adventurous life, courting women, fighting duels and arguing a paternity suit before the truth became known: Kit was a woman. After her husband and father of her three children, Richard Welsh, was press-ganged into the English army to fight in the European wars of the early eighteenth century, Kit disguised herself as a man and enlisted to find him. When she finally came face to face with Richard in 1704 she was enraged to find him in the arms of a Dutch woman. Kit’s adventures did not end there ...

34 review for The Secret of Kit Cavenaugh: A Remarkable Irishwoman and Soldier

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Go Book Yourself

    A review copy was provided by Killeen PR in return for an honest review The secret of Kit Cavenaugh is told through kits actual accounts, excerpts and little added flare/dramatisation from the author. Kit is our very own Irish Mulan! She is deeply in love with her husband Richard and is devestated to learn that he has been tricked into enlisting in the army and is now half way across the world on a ship destined for a strange, war torn land. Young men were bribed in whatever way possib A review copy was provided by Killeen PR in return for an honest review The secret of Kit Cavenaugh is told through kits actual accounts, excerpts and little added flare/dramatisation from the author. Kit is our very own Irish Mulan! She is deeply in love with her husband Richard and is devestated to learn that he has been tricked into enlisting in the army and is now half way across the world on a ship destined for a strange, war torn land. Young men were bribed in whatever way possible if it got them onto a ship and into a uniform. Many did it as a way to escape poverty. The army offered a regular wage and food on a daily basis. Kit is so determined to find Richard she decides to conceal her sex and enlist in the army in an attempt to find him. Her love for him is heart warming but the way she was so easily able to pawn her children off was a little disturbing. Throughout the story she seems to have very little maternal instinct! Kit excels as a soldier and is thoroughly involved in life in the camps. She was a fearless fighter who impressed generals of the highest rank. In fact I think that Kit enjoyed life at war so much that she almost forgot about Richard. 12 years pass without much mention of him. When they do finally meet again she finds that he hasn't been missing her as much as she missed him! Perhaps the most surprising element of the book, for me was the lack of punishment upon the discovery of her sex. I thought the penalty would be extremely harsh but no. Everyone just seemed fine with it! Maybe I'm just influenced by too many Americanised films? One thing that I felt ruined the book for me was the pictures in the middle. The captions gave away the entire story so for the remainder of the book I was just waiting for things to happen. I felt these pictures and illustrations would have been better placed at the end of the book. Despite Kits cold nature the story was enjoyable. History Buff's will really enjoy the thorough descriptions of life at war and within the camps.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    My second time reading this after a friend got me my own copy. What an absolute cracker of a tale!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Hurley

    A cross-dressing Irishwoman goes to war to search for her press-ganged husband. I love these little nuggets of history.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ronan Killeen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Griffith

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Byrne

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracey-Ann Knight

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ruzal

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lissa Oliver

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aster*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Seth Mccormick

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet Morris

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wolfokova

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Smyth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stefi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  24. 4 out of 5

    emma

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Goodwin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Fitts

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gogeyi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  32. 4 out of 5

    Alba Innovation

  33. 5 out of 5

    Rod Watkins

  34. 4 out of 5

    Phil Grant

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