?1768-1830; MD, Glasgow; practised medicine in Dublin from 1801; at first worked with Watty Cox on the Irish magazine and National Asylum, and later ed. The Milesian Magazine, or Irish Monthly Gleaner [var. or Sligo Miscellaneous Magazine, Sligo, Feb.-Aug. 1812)], 1812-25, a satirical journal initially directed against the College of Physicians in verse verse of considerable poignancy (ODNB); largely written by Brenan himself and increasingly directed against Watty Cox, whom he denounced as the betrayer of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (though actually it was Francis Higgins); Mangan dedicated his poems to Brenan whom he accredited with convincing the bard [himself] of the worthiness of his profession; promoted turpentine as a remedy for puerperal fever; reputedly died insane; there is a portrait of Brenan in Irish Book Lover (July 1914), [Vol. V, No. 11]. ODNB MKA JMC
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Barbara Hayley, A Reading and Thinking Nation: Periodicals as the Voice of Nineteenth-century Ireland, in Hayley & Enda McKay, ed., Three Hundred Years of Irish Periodical (Assoc. of Irish Learned Journals: Gigginstown, Mullingar 1987), p.30f., making reference to Watty Coxs Asylum whose owner-editor
carried on a perpetual batle of words against Dr. John Brenan, the edtior of the Milesian Magazine or Irish Monthly Gleaner [sic] which lasted from 1812 to 1825.
Brenan, who calls himself the wrestling doctor and becomes gradually madder during the course of the magazine, states I am the head of the valiant family of OBrenan - a family that never had a Protestant in it, or a vetro-man, or a trimmer. Our connections were with the best Catholic blood in Ireland. His magazine was eventually taken over by his hatred of Cox, and by his preoccupation with the mysterious turpentine controversy. (p.31).
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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed. Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives Come to me, dearest; see also McKenna (Irish Lit. 1978) [bibl. as supra].
Madden Papers, Irish Literary Periodicals [materials for Vol. 3], in Gilbert Collection, Pearse St. Library, Dublin, holds copies of the Milesian Magazine (1812-1825), with detailed MS notes on it and on John Brenan (1760-1834), including samples of his poems and ballads e.g. Ballad of the Beautiful Sweet Widow Whyte, The Fingal Tragedy, and Milo Frayne; also samples of his printed epigrams and his translation into English of Mary Queen of Scots Lines on the death of her husband Francis II, from the French, &c. (Gilbert MS 264) [Information supplied by Sean Mythen.]
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