Maud Gonne’s father, Tommy, was a Cavalry Major, which was how the English born Maud ended up living in Ireland, when he was posted there. In 1879, he was posted to India, and the motherless Maud and her sister Kathleen were moved to relatives in the South of France.
As the Irish and Indian independence movements began to find many areas of common ground in the early part of the 20th century, Maud Gonne developed links with Indian nationalists and was featured in Shyamji Krishnavarma’s Indian Sociologist. The country remained front of mind for Maud, for the rest of her life.
- She was longtime friends with the India House organization and the Free India Society.
- When the Indian freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was imprisoned at Brixton in 1910, Gonne organized Irish activists in an (unsuccessful) attempt to help Savarkar escape.
- She is on record as having dealings with many other Indian nationalists, including Vithalbhai Patel, on a variety of issues.
- In 1932, when in her 60s, she put together the Indian-Irish Independence League (IIIL) with Indulal Yajnik.
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