Letitia McClintock

fl.1857-81; [M’Clintock; var. Maclintock]; Donegal writer associated with Dunmore, Kilrea; author of fairy-tales; contrib. to The Dublin University Magazine in 1878, and Belgravia, et al.; also wrote A Boycotted House (1881), an anti-Land League novel; her some of her Donegal fairy-lore stories were included by Yeats in his Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888). IF OCIL

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Seven Irish Tales (1857), ill., Eifriede Abbe; incls. T. C. Croker, Patrick Kennedy, Letitia Maclintock [ltd. edn. 275]; A Boycotted Household (1881).

[ see listing of MacClintock stories anthologised and online - infra. ]

Audio-recording: Roy Trumbull reads "Jame Freel and the Young Lady" [mp3 at www.storyspieler.com. See note: On Halloween Jamie Freel accompanies the wee folk as they fly to Dublin and steal a young lady and leave behind a stick which assumes the shape of her corpse. Jamie rescues her and eventually is able to brings her back to her family who are convinced she is dead. (Internet Archive - online; 10.01.2012.)

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W. B. Yeats writes: ‘Miss Maclintock writes accurately and beautifully the half Scotch dialect of Ulster’ and remarks that, with Douglas Hyde, she has ‘published, so far, nothing in book shape’ (Intro., Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry [1888]; rep. in Robert Welch, ed., W. B. Yeats, Writings on Irish Folklore, Legend and Myth, Penguin 1993, p.5.)

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Charles Welsh, “Irish Fairy and Folk Tales” [intro. essay], in Irish Literature, gen. ed. Justin MacCarthy, Vol. III, (Philadelphia: John Morris & Company 1904): ‘Miss MacLintock [sic] has published many tales in various periodicals during the past twenty years; a period which has been remarkably fruitful in active workers in this hitherto comparatively untilled field.’ (p.xxii.)

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Margaret Kelleher, ‘Prose Writing and Drama in English; 1830-1890 […]’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. Kelleher & Philip O’Leary (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. 1 [Chap. 11]: ‘Between 1880 and 1890, numerous “land” novels appeared, in which contemporary facts and the conventions of fiction find, however, an often-uneasy combination. One of the first was A Boycotted Household (1881) by Letitia McClintock, published in London by the influential Smith and Elder publication house (also publishers of Matthew Arnold), and detailing the ‘reign of terror’ experienced by a landlord’s family between late 1879 and early 1881, together with the boycotting of one of their tenants.’ (p.479.)

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Margaret Kelleher (‘Prose Writing and Drama in English; 1830-1890 […]’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature, 2006) - cont.: ‘[… The influential London journal The Athenaeum expressed its unease concerning this very combination of politics and sentimental fiction [in Fannie Gallaher, Rosa Mulholland and McClintock]; as its reviewer wryly observed, “Certain it is that, while dealing liberally in siege and arson and murder, Mrs McClintock has not refrained from mere flirtation, and that two of her girls are mated and married ere the Land Bill passes, and the curtain falls.” (Review of A Boycotted Household, in Athenaeum, 17 Sept. 1881, p.365.) Yet, read from another perspective, these novels attest to an important political role played in this period by domestic fiction, with implications that may belie the usual operations of the genre. If domestic fiction seeks, in Nancy Armstrong’s words, to unfold “the operations of human desire as if they were independent of political history”, in these novels sexual and political relations remain hopelessly entangled, and the fate of individuals’ desires inseparable from Ireland’s political future.’ (p.480.) [For full text, go to RICORSO Library, “Classic Irish Criticism”, via index, or direct.]

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Maclintock anthologised ...

1] W. B. Yeats, ed., Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (Walter Scott 1888), contains “A Donegal Fairy” (p.46); “Jamie Freel and the Young Lady: A Donegal Tale” (pp.53-59 - as attached); “Far Darrig in Donegal” (ibid., p.90-93), and “Grace Connor” (ibid., p.130-32), and “Bewitched Butter” (ibid., p.149-50).

[ See Yeats’s anthology in RICORSO Library > “Irish Classics > W. B. Yeats” - via index, or direct. ]

2] Rosemary Gray, ed. & sel., Irish Ghost Stories (Wordsworth Editions 2005), incls. “Far Darrig in Donegal” and “Jamie Freel and the Young Lady: A Donegal Tale” [available online; accessed 10.01.2012].

3] The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol. IV: “Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions” (2002), incls. “Jamie Freel and the Young Lady: A Donegal Tale” (1909) is reprinted in p.1169ff.

4] Lindel Buckley reprints “Grace Connor” - at Donegal Genealogy Resources > “Works of Letitia McClintock, Dunmore, Kilrea” [online; accessed 10.01.2012]. This is the tale of a woman, the title character, who returns from the grave to haunt her husband and divulges to other women her concern about unpaid debts. The whole (which incorporates a footnote on farrel, farll, farli, or parli (i.e., griddle bread) - is given in newspaper column facsimile style. (Extract: “Thady Connor worked in the fields, and Grace made a livelihood as a pedlar, carrying a basket of remnants of cloth, calico, dugget, and frieze about the country[.]’ No other works are given and no biography cited.

Also ...

See Louth online webpage for stories by Laetitia Maclintock [sic]: “Far Darrig” “Jamie Freel and the Young Lady” “Grace Connor” “The Donegal Fairy”.

Louth on Line > McClintock [link; accessed 05.09.2008; unavailable at 10.01.2012].

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Influence on Yeats: Mary Helen Thuente characterises Letitia McClintock as a folklorist and an influential source for W. B. Yeats. (SeeThuente, W. B. Yeats and Irish Folklore, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1980.) See also citation in Irish Booklore, 3, 1 [q.d.].

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