1 minute read

Katharine Tynan Biography

(1861–1931), Louise de la Vallière and Other Poems, Poems and Ballads of Young Ireland

Irish poet and novelist, born in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, educated at the convent school of St Catherine of Drogheda. She gained a reputation as a poet with her first volume, Louise de la Vallière and Other Poems (1885). Like Yeats, who was her close friend for many years, she was a disciple of John O'Leary's in matters of literary nationalism, and was represented in Poems and Ballads of Young Ireland (1888); the anthology initiated the Irish Revival, of which she was the leading female exponent. Her numerous subsequent collections include Ballads and Lyrics (1890), Cuckoo Songs (1894), and A Lover's Breast Knot (1896). Folktales, some making use of dialect speech, and lyrical celebrations of the natural world predominate in her poetry. An element of Catholic piety distinguishes her verse from the more characteristically pagan tone of Irish Revival writing, and The Flowers of Peace (1914) consists entirely of devotional verse. Yeats selected the contents of her Twenty One Poems (1907); a Collected Poems was published in 1930. Following her marriage in 1893 she moved to London where she wrote over 100 works of romantic fiction, the majority resulting from her need to generate an income after her husband's death in 1919. Among her earlier novels are The Sweet Enemy (1901) and The Adventures of Alicia (1906), which share the concern with women's rights and the consciousness of social injustice evident in her extensive journalism. She also produced four volumes of autobiography, Twenty-Five Years (1913), The Middle Years (1916), The Years of Shadow (1916), and The Wandering Years (1922). R. McHugh's edition of Yeats's Letters to Katharine Tynan appeared in 1953.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tre‐Taliesin Cardiganshire to Hilda Vaughan Biography