Notebook of Miss Una Fox
19th-20th centuries This rather plain notebook, dating from the nineteenth century, was donated to the Library of Trinity College Dublin in 1988, primarily because it contains a transcript of a lecture on the Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan given by George Perry M.A. It then had a second life in the 1960s and 70s when reused by Miss Una Fox for her lecture notes on mathematics, politics, law, economics and history.
The Fox sisters, Una and Pat, lived together in Skerries, North County Dublin, beside their father's butcher's shop. Their legacy to Skerries is the foundation of the Marian Musical and Dramatic Society - now the Skerries Theatre Group. Every year they staged musical and variety shows, choral performances, plays and pantomimes (Pat conducted while Una played the piano) which were cultural and social highlights in the town. Una's pre-curtain-up good luck ritual was a liberal dowsing of the cast with holy water. The plays produced – O'Casey, Shakespeare, Coward, Wilde, Anouilh - often with Una prompting in the wings, was a first taste of theatre for many in the community.
Even though she lived all her days in the house where she was born, Miss Fox lived an interesting and cultured life. Her notebook is a testament to her varied interests, and the enduring popularity of drama and music in the town is a tribute to her vision. The presence of her name in the Manuscripts catalogue is a reminder that even if your sphere is small, your influence can be profound.
Shelfmark: TCD MS 10319
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