British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries includes over 100,000 pages of letters and diaries from approximately 500 women dating from between 1500 to 1900. The collection includes primary materials, biographies and an annotated bibliography of the sources in the database.
As today is St. Patrick's Day, sample the database's offerings with the below selection referencing the holiday:
"On Friday last, being St. Patrick's Day, there were great doings here, and not drunken doings, not drowning the shamrock in whiskey, but honoring the shamrock with temperance rejoicings and music, that maketh the heart glad without making the head giddy or raising the hand against law or fellow creatures."
From a letter from Maria Edgeworth to Margaret Edgeworth Ruxton, March 20, 1843.