Nine writers trace the public and private lives of nine sets of sisters. Artists, publishers, writers, educationalists, philanthropists, revolutionaries, suffragists – thinkers all. Independent women with hopes and ideals who overcame barriers, even within their own families, to their participation in public life. Their stories have often been overlooked by the mainstream historical record. These essays take readers on a journey through the centuries from the 1600s to the turbulent years of the independence struggle in 1900s Ireland and uncover the influence, support and rivalries of family.