Celebrating the life of Sophia Morrison champion of Manx culture

Sophia Morrison (24 May 1859 – 14 January 1917) was a Manx cultural activist, folklore collector and author. She was a founder member of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (The Manx Language Society) and played an important role in the Celtic revival in her Manx homeland and throughout the Celtic world.  She was an enthusiastic collector and recorder of all things related to Manx culture, including the island's ancient Gaelic language, its folklore, tales and music. In doing so this great patriot did not view her work as just a means to preserve the past. Sophia Morrison also sought to help inspire and promote a vibrant future for Manx culture.

Sophia Morrison, who was born in Peel, Isle of Man  (Manx: Purt ny h-Inshey, Mannin) and is probably best known as the author of Manx Fairy Tales, the most comprehensive collection of folklore tales from the Isle of Man. This work was later illustrated by Manx designer Archibald Knox (9 April 1864 - 22 February 1933). Her legacy lives on and Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh continues to flourish. The Manx language is now taught in all of the island’s schools and a generation of children have been taught through the medium of Manx at the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in St John’s Manx: Balley Keeill Eoin).

As we approach the 100th anniversary of her death an exhibition commemorating the life of Sophia Morrison, organised by Manx National Heritage, is being held at the Manx Museum and runs until 6 May, 2017. On 14th January at 1.30pm there will be a laying of a wreath at Sophia Morrison’s grave at Peel Cemetery. At 2.30pm will be a Talk on the Life of Sophia Morrison by Dr. Breesha Maddrell, Director of Culture Vannin, in The Guild Room, Atholl Street, Peel. A concert on the centenary of her death has also been jointly organised by The Celtic League, Mec Vannin and Celtic Congress, which includes Manx dance, music and poetry at the Centenary Centre in Peel at 7.30 pm on 14th January 2017.


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