[Mrs] B. M. Croker

WorksCriticism


Life
?1850-1920 [var. 1921; Bithia Mary Croker; née Sheppard; var. Shephard]; b. Kilgefin, Co. Roscommon; dg. Church of Ireland clergyman, b. Co. Roscommon; ed. Rockferry, Cheshire, and Tours; married Lt.-Col. John Croker of the Royal Scots [var. Royal Munster Fusiliers, IF] travelled India and Burma; living otherwise in London & Folkstone;
 
of her 50 vols. of novels and short stories, several of which are set wholly or partly in Ireland incl. Proper Pride (1882) - her first novel; In the Kingdom of Kerry (1896); Beyond the Pale (1897); Terence (1899) - dedicated to Irish Tourist Development; Johanna (1903); A Nine Days’ Wonder (1905); Lismoyle, an Experiment in Ireland (1914); and Bridget (1918); she published fifty-one titles, a number of which found their way onto the British Library Register of Preservation Surrogates. JMC DIW IF SUTH OCIL

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Works
See full lists of titles by Mrs. Croker in alphabetical and chronological order - as given on the first search pages of COPAC. The following listings incorporate full publishing details accessible in relation to each title listed therein - 1] chronological; 2] alphabetical.

Novels wholly set in Ireland
  • In the Kingdom of Kerry (London: Chatto & Windus 1896);
  • Beyond the Pale (London: Chatto & Windus; NY: Fenno 1897);
  • Terence (London: Chatto & Windus 1899);
  • Johanna [1903; 3rd edn.] (London: Methuen 1917);
  • A Nine Days’ Wonder (London: Methuen 1905);
  • Lismoyle, an Experiment in Ireland (London: Hutchinson 1914), and Do. [rep. edn.] (Dublin: Mellifont 1934);
  • Bridget (London: Hutchinson 1918);
Others with scenes in Ireland
  • Interference [orig. 1891; eds. in 1894, &c.]; Do. [new edn.] London: Chatto & Windus 1905), 2, vi, 312pp., and Two Masters (1890).
List of works extracted from COPAC (with full details)
  • Proper Pride, 3 vols. (London: 1882); Do. [A new edn.] (London: Ward & Downey 1885), viii, 334pp.; Do. [another edn. (1903); Do. [Everett’s Library, 7] (London: Everett & Co. Ltd. … [1912]), ill. [front. by Alfred Pearse]; 1925.
  • Pretty Miss Neville. … in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Tinsley Bros. 1883, 1884), 393pp.; Do. [another edn.] (London: Ward & Downey 1887); and Do. [“World’s Best” Library ] (Liverpool: “World’s Best” Publishing Co. [1919])
  • Some one Else … in three volumes. [3 vols.] (London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1885), 267, 268, 238pp., 8°. [BL, Reg. of Preservation Surrogates]
  • A Bird of Passage […] In three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington 1886), iv, 242, iv, 243, iv, 281pp., and Do. [A new edition] (London: Chatto & Windus 1893), [4], iv, 366, [2]pp., ill., 17.2cm.
  • Diana Barrington: A Romance of Central India. in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Ward & Downey, 1888), viii, 373, [3]pp., 19cm./8° [printed Charles Dickens and Evans, London]; [1900?]. [191-?]. and Do. [abridged edn.; People”s Friend Library, 183] (London: John Leng & Co [1927]) 160pp. [BL, Reg. of Preservation Surrogates; BL microfilm & Chadwyck-Healey microfiche]; Do. [Collins Modern Fiction] (London: Collins [1920]), 472pp., ill. [pls; col. lith. t.p.].
  • Two Masters: A Novel … in three volumes, London: F.V. White & Co. 1890), and Do. [another edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus, 1896), vi, 300pp.
  • Interference: A Novel … in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: F. V. White & Co. 1891), 223, 251, 227pp. [Reg. of Preservation Surrogates; BL microfilm and Chadwyck-Healey microfiche 1994]; Do. [another edn.] (Toronto: W. Bryce [1891]), 8°.; and Do. [new edition] (London: Chatto & Windus, 1905), vi, 312pp.
    1891. [Third Edition] (London: F. V. White & Co. … 1894) [printed by Kelly & Co., Kingston-on-Thames]; and Do. (A new edn.) 1905 .;
  • A Family Likeness: A Sketch in the Himalayas … in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1892), 253, 225, 225, 8° [BL microfilm; Chadwyck-Healey microfiche];
  • A Third Person: A Novel, 2 vols. (London: F. V. White & Co. 1893); and Do. … In one volume [1 vol.] (London: F. V. White & Co. 1895), vi, 312pp. [printed by Kelly & Co., Kingston-on-Thames].
  • “To Let” &c.: (London: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, 1893), 247pp. [BL, Reg. of Preservation Surr.; BL microfilm & Chadwyck-Healey microfiche].
  • Mr. Jervis … in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1894), 8°; Do. [another edn.] (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. 1895), 397pp.; [1917]. Do. [] (London & Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Co. [1918]. [1924].
  • The Real Lady Hilda: A Sketch by B. M. Croker (London: Chatto & Windus, 1895, 1896), 234pp. [BL microfilm & Chadwyck-Healey microfiche 1994].
  • Village Tales and Jungle Tragedies: With a frontispiece by John Charlton. 1895.
  • Married or single? … in three volumes [3 vols.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1895), 256, 245, 283pp., 8º [BL microfilm & Chadwyck-Healey microfiche 1994]; Do. [A new edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1896)., iv, 290pp., 19.3cm.; Do. [Nelson’s 1/6 Novels] (London & Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons. [1917]), 380pp., 12°; and Do. [another edn.] (London: [Chatto & Windus] [1924], 8° [copy in BL] .
  • In the Kingdom of Kerry and Other Stories (London: Chatto & Windus 1896), 214pp., 8° [BL microfilm and Chadwyck-Healey microfiche]; Do. [A new edition] (London: Chatto & Windus 1903), 214pp.;
  • Miss Balmaine’s Past (London: Chatto & Windus 1898), 325pp., 8°;
  • Peggy of the Bartons (London : Methuen & Co., 1898), vi, 331pp.; and Do. [Collection of British and American Authors, vols. 3738-39] Leipzig : Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1904), 16cm. [copyright edn.]
  • Beyond the Pale [The Times Novel ser.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1897), viii,334, 2, 32pp., 8°.[printed. Wm. Clowes & Son]; Do. [another edn.] (NY: Fenno 1897); Do. [A new edition] (Londo:Chatto & Windus 1898), viii, 334pp., 19cm [TCD Lib., inscribed Benedicte Bonaparte Wyse]; Do. 1906 [Popular edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1906), 106pp. [buff paper covers & port. of author]; Do. [another edn.] (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons 1920) [BL, Reg. of Preservation Surrogates; another copy in Oxford UL]; and Do. [Nelson’s Library (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1920];
  • Infatuation (London: Chatto & Windus 1899); vi, 332pp.;
  • Terence … With six illustrations by Sidney Paget (London: Chatto & Windus 1899), 342pp. [6 pls.], 8° [Reg. of Preservation Surrogates; copies in BL, Oxford, Cambridge, TCD Lib., and Nat. Lib. of Scotland]; Do. [another edn.] (Toronto: W. J. Gage, [1899]) [available in CIHM/ICMH microfiche].
  • Jason and Other Stories (London: Chatto & Windus 1899), 256pp., 8°
  • A State Secret and Other Stories (London: Methuen & Co., 1901), 278pp.
  • Angel: A Sketch in Indian Ink (1901); Do. [another edn.] (London: Methuen & Co. 1913), vii, 325; Do. [Methuen Sevenpenny Novels] (London: Methuen & Co. 1913), 304pp.; and Do. [13th Edn.] ( London: Methuen & Co. 1934), 8°;
  • The Cat’s Paw … With twelve illustrations by Fred. Pegram (London: Chatto & Windus 1902), vi, 374pp.; Do. [2nd Edn] (London: Chatto & Windus 1902), vi, [2], 374pp. [12 pls.; copy in TCD Lib. ded. To Eileen Whitaker with her mother’s love]; Do. [5th Edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1904), 8°; Do. [copyright edn.] (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz 1908), 344pp. [15.6cm; end papers with shamrock pattern printed in green; copy in TCD Lib.].
  • Johanna (London: Methuen & Co. 1903), 325pp.; Do. [another edn.] (London & Dublin Mellifont Press [1934]) , 160pp., 8° [printed by Mellifont Press, Dublin].
  • Her Own People (London: Hurst & Blackett, 1903), 323pp. [BL microfilm 2004]; Do. (London: Hurst & Blackett [1910]), 15.7cm.
  • The Happy Valley (London: Methuen 1904), 312pp., ill. [1 lf. pls.]; Do. [copyright edn.] [Collection of British authors, 3792 (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz 1905), 286pp., 16cm;
  • A Nine Days’ Wonder (London: Methuen & Co. 1905), 310pp., 8°.; and Do. [another edn.] (London: Amalgamated Press [1907]), vi, 122pp., 8°; Do. [another edn.] (London & Dundee: John Leng & Co. [1923], 112pp.; and Do. [another edn. (London [1933]), 160pp. [printed (i.e., published?) at Mellifont Press, Dublin].
  • The Old Cantonment; with Some Other Stories of India and Elsewhere (London : Methuen & Co., 1905), viii, 294pp., 8°; and Do. [Collection of British Authors, v. 3829] (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz 1905), 287pp., 16cm [copyright edn.].
  • The Young Miss Mowbray [1906]. [1909]. 
  • The Company’s Servant: A Romance of Southern India (London: Hurst & Blackett [1907]), 320pp., 19cm. [var. 17cm.; BL microfilm 2002].
  • The Spanish Necklace … with eight illustrations by F. Pegram [1 vol.] (London : Chatto & Windus 1907), vi, 348pp. [copies in TCD Lib., and Nat. Lib. of Scotland], and Do. [“World’s Best” Library] (Liverpool : “World’s Best” Publishing Co. [1919], 8°.
  • Katherine the Arrogant (London: Methuen 1909), 348pp.; Do. (Leipzig : Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1909 1909 [?1911 printing]), 295pp. [copyright edn.]
  • Fame [Collection of British authors, 4188 (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz 1910), 288pp., 16cm [copyright edn.],
  • Babes in the Wood: A Romance of the Jungles (London : Methuen & Co., 1910 ), vii. 318pp. [BL, Reg. of Preservation Surr.; microfilm]; Do. [another edn.] (Leipzig : Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1910), 328pp. [copyright edn.]; Do. [another edn.] [5th edn.] (1914); Do. [6th edn] (London : Methuen 1916), viii,295pp. [Cambridge UL].
  • A Rolling Stone (London: F. V. White & Co., 1911), vi, 31pp. [copy in TCD Lib.]; Do. (London, Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons [1918]); and Do. [another edn.] (London [1925]).
  • The Serpent’s Tooth (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1912), 380pp.
  • In Old Madras (London: Hutchinson [1913]), 284pp., 17cm; Do. [Collection of British Authors, 4414] (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1913 [1923?]) [copyright edn.]; and Do. [another edn.] (London: [1919]) [8° var. 12°].
  • Jungle Tales: Village tales and Jungle Tragedies [Holden & Hardinghams 7d novels] (London: Holden & Hardingham 1913), 12°; Do. [A new impression] (London: Holden & Hardingham 1913), 8° [and without sub-title], and Do. (London: Holden & Hardingham 1919), 234pp., 8°;
  • Lismoyle: An Experiment in Ireland (London: Hutchinson 1914), 384pp. [copies in TCD Lib., Oxford, Leeds, Nat. Lib. of Scotland.]
  • Quicksands (London: Cassell & Co. 1915), vi, 342pp.
  • The Road to Mandalay: A Tale of Burma (London & NY: Cassell & Co. [1917]), viii, 335pp., 8°.
  • A Rash Experiment (London: Hutchinson & Co. [1917]), 288pp.
  • Given in Marriage (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1916), viii, 311pp.; Do. [another edn.] [1919]
  • Bridget (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1918), viii, 188pp., and Do. [another edn.] (London: Readers” Library Publishing Co.; Leisure Library Co. [1946]), 130pp.
  • Blue China (London: Hutchinson & Co. [1919]), 286pp., 8°
  • Odds and Ends (London: Hutchinson & Co. [1919]), 304pp.
  • The Pagoda Tree (London & NY: Cassell & Co. [1919]), vi, 310pp.
  • The Chaperon (London; NY: Cassell [1920]), vii, 309pp., 8°; [Collection of British and American authors, Vol. 4543] (Leipzig : Bernhard Tauchitz 1920), 263pp.
  • The House of Rest (London: 1921), 312pp.; Do. [another edn.] (NY [1921]).
 
See also Richard Dalby, ed. & intro., “Number ninety” and other ghost stories[by] B. M. Croker, [Mistresses of the Macabre] ( Mountain Ash : Sarob, 2000), xvi, 152pp., ill. [by Paul Lowe; ltd. edn. of 250]

Note that Mellifont Press (Dublin) which reprinted Johanna [orig. 1903] (1934) also issued a number of Irish nationalist texts - see infra.

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Criticism
John Wilson Foster, Irish Novels 1890-1940: New Bearings in Culture and Fiction (Oxford: OUP 2008) [see extract].

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Commentary
Rolf & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006) - Introduction: ‘A major problem faced by Irish writers was not being recognized by reviewers as “truly” Irish. For example, the Roscommon-born Mrs Bithia Croker published 52 works of fiction, of which at least ten were set in Ireland. In 1919 she wrote to the publisher Edmund Downey: “It is strange to me that I never receive any acknowledgement from my native land as an Irish novelist … Irish papers rarely notice me, save The Freeman’s Journal, whose abuse is most amusing”.’ [93]

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John Wilson Foster, Irish Novels 1890-1940: New Bearings in Culture and Fiction (Oxford: OUP 2008): ‘Presumably a literary patriotism and a class bias or even religious bias (in varying ratios) account for the neglect of fictions by certain writers who set most of their work beyond Irish shores. One might hing of the novel of B. M. Croker set in India, save for the fact that all of Croker’s novels have been forgotten, without the need for geographical discrimination: it was presumably her social class, her unqualified Anglo-Irishness, and her popularity that already counted against her.’ (p.11.) Foster treats in greater or lesser detail of her works Angel, In Old Madras, Lismoyle, Mr. Jervis, “Number Ninety”, Odds and Ends, Pretty Miss Neville, The Serpent’s Tooth, “To Let” [title story].

See also Foster’s chapter on ‘Irish Fiction 1890-1940’ in The Cambrdige History of Irish Literature, ed. Margaret Kelleher & Philip O’Leary (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. II.

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References
Justin McCarthy, Irish Literature (Washington 1904), gives extract from ‘In the Kingdom of Kerry’. JMC cites Diana Barrington; Mrs Jervis; Village Tales and Jungle Tragedies; The Real Lady Hilda; Peggy of the Bartons; Terence; A State Secret [n.dd.]

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Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), gives no bio-dates; lists A Bird of Passage [1886] (London: Chatto & Windus 1903); In the Kingdom of Kerry (London: Chatto & Windus 1896) [seven light and merry sketches of ‘poor folk’ (Baker)]; Beyond the Pale [1st edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus; NY: Fenno 1897) [girl compelled to train horses for living in counties; feudal peasantry sympathetically viewed]; Terence (London: Chatto & Windus 1899); Johanna [1903] (3rd edn. London: Methuen 1917) [peasant girl on way to Dublin used as slavey; release by her soldier boy returning]; A Nine Days’ Wonder (London: Methuen 1905) [girl raised in Irish cottage claimed as dg. of English peer; shocks and eventually takes society by storm]; Lismoyle, an Experiment in Ireland (London: Hutchinson 1914) [six month visit of English heiress to delapidated Irish big house]; Bridget (London: Hutchinson 1918) [beautiful, lovable, this girl with deplorable parents is courted by soldiers at Dublin dances and finally eludes poverty]; and mentions Interference (1894) [recte 1891], and Two Masters (1890) as having scenes in Ireland.

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John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Longmans 1988; rep. 1989), gives bio-dates as ?1860-1921 [sic]; calls her prolific and popular with circulating libraries; netting 2,000 for a novel in the 1920s; considered ‘fresh and wholesome’; m. Royals Scots officer and travelled to India and Burma, 14 yrs.; her fiction deals with upper class colonial life and shows itself sympathetic towards the Indians; romantic plots and heavily worked-in local descriptions; Proper Pride (Tinsley 1882) [Anglo-Indian life with Afghanistan episodes]; Pretty Miss Neville (1883) [a faithless coquette in Indian station of Mulkapore, ‘and a miss no more’, i.e., loses virginity]; Someone Else (1884) [a mishap following a mistaken kiss]; A Bird of Passage (1886) [colonial flirtation in the Andamans]; Interference (1891) [hunting foxes in Ireland and husbands in India]; Beyond the Pale (1897, ser. The Times weekly edn.) [set in Munster with Galling Jerry, a horsey Irish heroine].

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Library Catalogues
Belfast Central Library holds Beyond the Pale (1898); In the Kingdom of Kerry (1896); Interference (1892).

Booksellers
Eggeley Books (Cat. No. 44) lists The Cat’s Paw (London: Chatto & Windus 1935), rpt., iv+343pp; Mr Jervis (London: Chatto & Windus 1897), new edn., iv+331pp.; Quicksands (London: Cassell 1916), vi, 343pp. Also, [The Youngest Miss Mowbray (London: Hurst and Blackett 1906), 316pp..

Richard Beaton (Lewes, S. Essex) lists
  The Road to Mandalay: A Tale of Burma (1917)
  The Youngest Miss Mowbray (1906)
  A Family Likeness A Sketch in the Himalayas (1892)
  Infatuation (1899)*
  Proper Pride (1882)
  Miss Balmaine’s Past (1898)
  Some One Else (1884)
  Pretty Miss Neville (1883)
  The Cat’s-Paw (1908)
  Diana Barrington: A Romance of Central India (1888)
  A Bird of Passage (1886)†
  Terence (1899)
  Terence [1905]
 
—Richard Beaton at Antiqbooks - online; accessed 31.08.2011.

*Infatuation (London, Chatto & Windus 1899) - First Edition. Hard Cover. “The Times Novels”. Original blue cloth, blocked in gilt (Celtic design) on front board, blindstamped Times logo on rear board. Times Novels series half-title. Corners bumped, front free endpaper tipped in, foxing especially on prelims, good. Not in Wolff. The series half-title gives details of the original serialisation. The Times Novels was a short-lived series: titles were originally serialised in the weekly edition of The Times - not to be confused with The Times Book Club. Other titles in the series included A Daughter of the Soil by M. E. Francis (1895), Father and Son by Arthur Paterson (1898) and B. M. Croker's own Beyond the Pale (1897).
 
A Bird of Passage (London, Chatto & Windus. 1886). Hard Cover. New Edition. Original sage-green cloth on limp boards, lettered and decorated in black on front board, in black and gilt on spine. Spine tips scuffed, signature (1899) on front free endpaper, inkspots on edge of spine, otherwise good. A good-humoured (and often comically free-wheeling) romance which moves from the tropical wilds of the Andaman Islands - with depictions of colonial life in the East and adventures on land and sea - to a decayed estate in southern Ireland - with its humourous ‘characters’, supposed ghosts and poachers, and the eccenticities of a mad inventor.
—Richard Beaton at Antiqbooks - online; accessed 31.08.2011.

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Notes
Review: an undated press notice slipped into Beyond the Pale compares her to Charles Lever; good old fashioned happy-marriage ending. [Library of BS.]

Mellifont Press: For Mellifont Press (Dublin) which printed and published the 1934 edition of Johanna (orig. London 1903) and sundry other Irish popular novelists in the 1940s as well a a number of nationalist political studies in the 1920s and 1930s - see under Bibliography, “Publishers, Mellifont, attached [file a-building]

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