Parnell became a Member of Parliament, representing Meath in 1875
He was an advanced Irish nationalist and at the forefront of the campaign for Home Rule, a movement that sought self-government for Ireland, within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Influenced by his experience running Avondale Estate, he was also a campaigner for tenants’ rights, and was one of the founders of the Irish Land League in 1879.
Influenced by their mother, Charles’ two younger sisters, Fanny and Anna, were intelligent, independent political thinkers. Although they had very little formal education, which was common for women in the 19th century, they were widely read. According to her brother, John Howard, Fanny ‘knew every book in the library and both sisters wrote articles, books, and poetry. Fanny established the Ladies Land League in America, while Anna travelled all over Ireland helping evicted tenant farmers and their families and encouraging women to get involved in the Land League.