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Thomas Leland

Thomas Leland (1722-1785) was born in Dublin. Ordained to ministry in the Church of Ireland, his works include History of Philip, King of Macedon (1758), History of Ireland (1773), and a posthumous collection of sermons (1788). His only work of fiction, Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, was published in 1762. It was adapted for stage in 1765 as The Countess of Salisbury by fellow Dubliner Hall Hartson. The play remained popular into the early nineteenth century.

Lafcadio Hearn

Born on the Greek island of Lefkada, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was brought up in both Ireland and England. At nineteen he emigrated to the United States where he became a journalist. After a sojourn in the French West Indies, he sailed for Japan in 1890. Hearn wrote extensively about his new homeland, its tales, customs, and religions, acting as a bridge between Japan and the Western world. He died in Tokyo where he is buried under his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo.

George William Russell

George William Russell (1867-1935)—who published as “A.E.”—was a poet, painter, economist, and mystic. In 1897 he started work with Sir Horace Plunkett’s Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, editing their journal The Irish Homestead. In addition to numerous volumes of poetry, essays, and mystical writings, A.E. also nurtured the careers of Ireland’s most important writers, including Patrick Kavanagh, James Stephens, and James Joyce. Highly regarded in life, on his death A.E.’s funeral cortège was over a mile long.

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College. As a young man he worked as a civil servant at Dublin Castle, and as an unpaid theatre critic for local newspapers. He is best remembered today for his classic novel Dracula (1897), but during his lifetime he was known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving, and business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London. Other notable works include The Jewel of Seven Stars and The Lair of the White Worm.

Rosa Mulholland

Rosa Mulholland was born in Belfast on 19 March 1841. In 1891 she married the eminent Irish historian Sir John T. Gilbert (1829-1898). In addition to her two-volume Life of Sir John T. Gilbert (1905), Mulholland produced a long line of novels mostly set in rural Ireland, and featuring strong female characters, including The Wicked Woods of Tobereevil (1872) and Banshee Castle (1895). Many of her supernatural tales were collected in The Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly (1880). Mulholland died at her home Villa Nova on 21 April 1921.

B. M. Croker

B. M. Croker was born in Co. Roscommon in 1849. She married John Stokes Croker, an officer in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, in 1870, and accompanied him to India, there commencing a long literary career. Authoring some fifty-two books, her novel The Road to Mandalay was filmed in 1926. Mrs. Croker died at a nursing home in London, after a short and sudden illness, on 20 October 1920.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was born in Dublin on 28 August 1814. Though he worked as a journalist and owned several newspapers, he is now best remembered for his pioneering tales of the psychological and supernatural such as “Schalken the Painter”, “Sir Dominick’s Bargain”, and “Carmilla”. His notable novels include The House by the Churchyard (1863) and Uncle Silas (1864). Le Fanu’s seminal short story collection In a Glass Darkly was published in late 1872, less than a year before his death on 7 February 1873.

Mervyn Wall

Mervyn Wall (1908-1997) was born in Dublin. He was educated in both Ireland and Germany, and obtained his B.A. from the National University of Ireland in 1928. After fourteen years in the Civil Service, he joined Radio Éireann as Programme Officer. In 1957 he became Secretary of the Arts Council of Ireland, retiring in 1975. Known during his lifetime as a broadcaster and critic, he is best remembered for his two satirical fantasies set in medieval Ireland, The Unfortunate Fursey (1946) and The Return of Fursey (1948).

Dorothy Macardle

Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958)—historian, playwright, journalist, and novelist—was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth. She was educated at Alexandra College in Dublin where she later lectured in English literature. She is best remembered for her seminal treatise on Ireland’s struggle for independence, The Irish Republic (1937), but also wrote novels of the uncanny, including Uneasy Freehold/The Uninvited (1941), Fantastic Summer/The Unforeseen (1946), and Dark Enchantment (1953). She died in Drogheda and is buried in St. Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton.

Conall Cearnach

“Conall Cearnach” (1876-1929)—F. W. O’Connell—was a polyglot and scholar born in Clifden, Co. Galway. After serving as an Anglican priest, he became the first lecturer of Celtic Languages and Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast. Interested in strange literature, O’Connell made the first translation into Irish of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Cas aduain an Dr Jekyll agus Mhr Hyde in 1929. O’Connell died tragically when he was struck by a bus in October of that year.