As a volatile meeting point of personal and public experience, autobiography exists in a mutually influential relationship with the literature history, private writings, and domestic practices of a society. This book illuminates the ways evolving class and gender identities interact with these inherited forms of narrative to produce the testimony of a culture confronting its own demise. Elizabeth Grubgeld places Irish autobiography within the ever-widening conversation about the nature of autobiographical writing and contributes to contemporary discussions regarding Irish identity. Her emphasis on women's autobiographies provides a further reexamination of gender relations in lreland. While serving as the first critical history of its subject, this book also offers a theoretical and interpretive reading of Anglo-Irish culture that gives full attention to class, gender, and genre analysis. It examines autobiographies, letters, and diaries from the late eighteenth century though the present, with primary attention to works produced since World War I. By examining many previously neglected texts, Grubgeld both recovers lost voices and shows their work can revise our understanding of such major literary figures as George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, John Synge, Elizabeth Bowen, and Louis MacNiece.