Kathleen Aldworth Foster is the author of Doneraile Court: The Story of The Lady Freemason. Although classified as historical fiction, the author went to great lengths to uncover the true story of Elizabeth St Leger Aldworth, who was known as The Lady Freemason in 18th century Ireland. As a young woman in 1712, St Leger was caught spying on Freemasons in the middle of an initiation ritual in her family’s home. Legend has it that the men, including her own father, were forced to make a life or death decision. They chose life and to this day Elizabeth St Leger is the only female member of regular Freemasons recognized in Ireland, where her portrait hangs in the Grand Lodge in Dublin. Her childhood home, Doneraile Court, is in what’s now County Cork. It’s owned by the state of Ireland and open to the public.
Researching & Writing Doneraile Court: The Story of The Lady Freemason – 45 Minutes
During this 45-minute presentation, Kathleen details what is known and not known about the life and times of The Lady Freemason, Elizabeth St Leger Aldworth. Her journey in Freemasonry began in the pre-grand lodge era and ended in 1775 at the dawning of the American Revolution. During this time, Mrs. Aldworth went from her emergency initiation to being an active life-long member. She made public appearances in full regalia and received a full Masonic funeral. Kathleen explains the process of her 15 years of writing and research, her personal genealogical quest, the Aldworth family connections in England, Ireland, and the U.S., and overcoming the immense self-doubt that can stop so many writers of both fiction and non-fiction from completing their work.
Travel Information – Kathleen is willing to travel within two hours of New York City. Beyond that, any hotel or flight needs must be covered.
Paperback and hardcover books, reproduction prints of rare images, and artwork of the Lady Freemason can be purchased.
*Doneraile Court is now owned by the state of Ireland where it is one of the top tourist attractions in County Cork. www.doneraileestate.ie