Anna Maria Hall

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
1800-1881 [Mrs. S. C. Hall; née Fielding]; b. 6 Jan., Anne St., Dublin; brought up in Bannow, Co. Wexford, with her mat. grandparents; moved to London with her mother in 1815; m. Samuel Carter Hall, Sept. 1824; contrib. to The Spirit and Manners of the Age, ed. by Hall, and also to The Amulet, an annual ed. by him, subsequently issuing with him up to 500 books; originator of fund to honour Florence Nightingale, amounting to £45,000; supported hospital for consumptives, etc.; she was a strong temperance advocate; a subscription fund of £1,500 was presented to the Halls at their 50th wedding anniversary, with album of 500 testimonials;
 
issued Reminiscences of a Long Life (1883); Sketches of Irish Character (1829)- of which seven editions between 1829 and 1876; also Lights and Shadows of Irish Life (1838), and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (1840) with pref. remarks, ‘My design was to exhibit and illustrate those peculiarities in the Irish characer which appear to be the root of evils in their condition’ (‘Dedication’, p.5); awarded civil list pension of £100 in 1868; issued, with her husband, Ireland: Its Scenery and Character (1841-43), based from five tours of Ireland undertaken between 1825 and 1840; well-subscribed in advance; expressed optimism about beneficial effect of the investment of English capital in Ireland;
 
also issued The Whiteboy (1845), a novel; Popular Tales and Sketches (1856); The Fight of Faith [1862]; further novels incl, Nelly Nowlan (1865), The Outlaw (1835), Marian (1840), Midsummer’s Eve (1848);some of her pieces had ‘good runs’ at Adelphi and St James Theatres [PI]; d. 30 Jan., at Devon Lodge, East Moulsey, bur. Addlestong Churchyard; there is a portrait by William Rothwell in the National Gallery of Ireland. ODNB PI JMC NCBE IF/2 DIW DIB DIH MKA DIL RAF SUTH OCIL

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Works
  • Mabel’s Curse, a musical drama (London [1825]);
  • Sketches of Irish Character (London: F Westley & A. H. Davis 1829) & Sketches of Irish Character, 2nd ser. (London: Westley & Davis 1831); Do. (NY 1845); and Do [jointly]. as Mrs Hall’s Sketches of Irish Character, ed. Marion Durnin [based on 3rd rev edn. of 1844; Chawton House Library Ser.; Women's Novels, 20] (London: Pickering & Chatto 2014), 528pp. [see note];
  • The Buccaneer (1829), and Do. [another edn.] (London: R. Bentley 1832);
  • The Outlaw (1832), and Do. [another edn.] (London: Bentley 1835);
  • Tales of Woman’s Trials (London: Houlston 1835);
  • Uncle Horace (London: H. Colburn 1837);
  • St. Pierre the Refugee, a burletta (London 1837);
  • The French Refugee [revised ed. of St. Pierre] (London: Chapman & Hall 1838);
  • The Groves of Blarney (London: Chapman & Hall 1838);
  • Lights and Shadows of Irish Life (London: H. Colburn 1838);
  • Marian, or a Young Maid’s Fortune (London: H. Colburn 1840), trans. edns. in German & Dutch; Stories of the Irish Peasantry (Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers 1840; rep. [1850] 1880) (ii) (vi), 302pp.;
  • Ireland, with S. C. Hall (London: How & Parsons 1843) [aka Hall’s Ireland; see details];
  • The Whiteboy: A Story of Ireland in 1822, 2 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall 1845) [Cambridge UL Microfilm, 1990]; Do. [new edn.] [2 vols.] (London: Chapman & Hall [1855]), 316pp.; Do. [another edn.], 2 vols. (London: Ward, Lock & Co. [1884]), 316pp..
  • A Midsummer’s Eve (London: Longman 1848);
  • A Woman’s Story; Can Wrong be Right? (1857);
  • The Book of the Thames (1868); The Book of South Wales (1869);
  • The Fight of Faith (London: Chapman & Hall 1869);
  • Grandmamma’s Pockets (Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers 1869), rpt. 158pp.;
  • The Chronicles of a Schoolroom [no details]. [Inc. Eggeley Catl. 44].

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Bibliographical details
Hall’s Ireland: Mr & Mrs Hall’s Tour of 1840 [abridged vers. of Do., London: Hall, Virtue & Co. 1841, sic], ed. Michael Scott (London: Sphere Books 1984), xix, 480pp., ill., maps. Note: title of the copy-text edition not given; follows the text of the Virtue edition [here 1841; recte 1870] and incorporates notes and addenda of the ‘new edition’ published some ten years after which locates the footnotes in the original in the text, while the folklore was removed to the appendices instead. Scott purposely omits passages relating to the ‘“historical” background’ because of its ‘lack of veracity and dubious authority’, being otherwise intrusive; ditto most of the ‘figures’ . (See under Quotations, infra .)

INDEX concluding Vol. II is virtually confined to place-names and incomplete in respect of persons. Appendix to Vol. I contains stories told to the Halls, the dialogue being given in Hiberno-English [with a pref. note by Scott]., Appendix to Vol. II contains separate remarks on Cottages [420]; Education [425]; Society [429; higher classes – old Irish gentry almost extinct; distinguishes between suspicious ‘Irish Gentleman’ and gracious ‘gentleman from Ireland’; comments on half-sirs; ‘in writing of Irish women we refer to no particular classor grade; from the most elevated to the most humble, they possess innate purity of thought, word, and deed, and are certainly unsurpassed – if they can be equalled – for qualities of the heart, mind, and temper, which make the best companions, the safest counsellors, the truest friends, and afford the surest securities for sweet and upright discharge of duties in all relations of life’; following note insists that these are the remarks of but one author, an Englishman, not an Irishwoman; Servants [432] conditions of, very bad; Secret Societies [435], with reference to 450,000 Irishmen dead on foreign service [Irish Brigades], 1691-1745; rapparees; Houghers; Whiteboys; Right-boys; Steel-boys; Oak-boys; Peep-of-day-boys’, countered by Defenders; Terry Alts (Clare); Carders; Rockites; Moyle Rangers; Paddy Cars; Shanavests; Caravets; Hall’s comment, ‘we do not hesitate our conviction that of all these societies there has not been one that has not been influenced by or designed to influence Religion’ but that the sole object of their jurisdictions is Land, and that in issuing their mandates and executing their sentences, no regard whatever is given to the consideration whether the object of them is Catholic or Protestant.’ (p.438); Constabulary [439]; Faction Fights [445]; Round Towers [453]; The Irish Language [460]. Epilogue. Scott’s acknowledgements incl. thanks to Padraig Ó Tailliur, Tim Coughlan. (See sundry passages in Quotations, infra.)

Note: parts of Ireland, Its Scenery, Character, […. 7c.] were issued in 4 separate vols. in 1853 as Hand Books for Ireland.-Dublin and Wicklow.-The North and Giants' Causeway.-The South and Killarney.-The West and Connemara.

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Criticism
  • William Maginn, ‘Mrs. S. C. Hall’ [Gallery of Literary Characters, No.73], in Fraser’s Magazine, 13 (1836), and Do., rep. in Daniel Maclise, A Gallery of Illustrious Characters … Accompanied by Notices Chiefly by the late William Maginn (London 1873);
  • ‘Our Portrait Gallery’, No. 10, in Dublin University Magazine, 16 (1840);
  • James Newcomer, ‘Mrs Samuel Carter Hall and The Whiteboy’, in Études Irlandais, 8 (Dec 1983), pp.113-19;
  • Barry Sloan, ‘Novels by Mrs Hall, Le Fanu, Lever and Carleton (1845-1850)’, in The Pioneers of Anglo-Irish Fiction, 1800-1850 [Irish Literary Studies 21] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1986), pp.197-37; Maureen Keane, Mrs S. C. Hall: A Literary Biography (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1998), 272pp.

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Commentary
William Carleton, ‘The Late John Banim, Esq.’, [National Gallery, No. V], The Nation (23 Sept. 1843), writes: ‘Unlike Mrs. Hall, he [i.e., Banim] does not give us for the conversation of our countrymen and country-women a monotonous and sickening repetition of the same emasculated verbiage, studded here and there with a bit of Irish phraseology, stolen form writers who know Irishmen and their language thoroughly.’ (See further under John Banim, supra.) Note also that Benedict Kiely quotes Carleton as claiming that Mrs. Hall and her husband could not possibly have understood the Irish people [sic] because they had never been drunk in their company’ (Kiely, ‘The Two Masks of Gerald Griffin, in Raid into Dark Corners, 1991, p.205.)

See also Kiely in Poor Scholar, 1947; rep. 1972 [10th edn.]): "Carleton himself said that the good Mrs. Hall never could have known the people of Ireland as well as he knew them, for she had never been drunk in their company. She certainly hadn't. But Carleton had been drunk in their company and sober in their company, had praised Father Mathew and total abstinence for their edification, had praised poteen punch because it was worthy of praise, had spoken English to them and Irish to them." (p.6.)

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Allen Feldman [with Eamonn O’Doherty], The Northern Fiddler (Blackstaff Press 1979), Preface: ‘Mr and Mrs Hall, in Journey Through Ireland (London: Virtue 1870), show themselves no friends of traditional Irish music in their account of a meeting with a piper at Kincora who was “wrathful exceedingly[”] on two or three points; the decay of mountain skills, the decline of dancing, and departure of all spirits out of the hearts of “the boys” and, above all, the introduction of “brass bands” from which was to be dated the ruin of Ireland. [..] These “brass bands” are becoming nearly as numerous as the branches of the Temperance Society; and we hope they will increase, for the wonderful change that has been wrought in the habits of the people has, unquestionably, driven the piper and the fiddler out of fashion.’

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Luke Gibbons, ‘Romanticism, Realism, and Irish Cinema’, in Kevin Rockett, et al. eds., Cinema and Ireland (1988), p.194: In Mrs Hall’s Victorian melodrama The Groves of Blarney (1838) an ingenious Cockney visitor, Peter Swan, explains his instant familiarity with the finer points of Irish life [‘such a set of savages … all real origional HIrish!’] on the basis that he has furnished his imagination with images in advance in the shape of a portfolio of sketches laid in ‘aforehand – saves a deal of trouble and travelling.’

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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: ‘In 1829, Sketches of Irish Character, the first published work of the author known as Mrs Hall (1800-81), appeared. […] Set in the village of Bannow, Hall’s stories proved immediately popular among English readers; in 1831 a second series of Sketches followed, with numerous later editions. While the author was at pains to emphasise that her characters knew little “and care less” about politics, the sketches themselves belie this assertion with frequent references to memories of the rebellion of 1798. In the fifth edition of Sketches published in 1854, Hall included an extensive account of the friendship between her Huguenot grandmother and a Roman Catholic priest during the rebellion. / Anna Hall was an extremely prolific writer, whose work featured in diverse Irish and English periodicals such as Chambers’s Journal, New Monthly Magazine, the I and the Dublin Penny Journal. While her writings were praised at the time for their accuracy and insight, they can now appear superficial and conventional, and she may be more fairly viewed, as Riana O’Dwyer has argued, as ‘the equivalent of a journalist or columnist today, rather than as a literary writer’. Some of her stories contain a level of irony rarely credited to their author: in the novella Groves of Blarney, for example, which comprises the first volume of Lights and Shadows of Irish Life (3 vols., 1838), much ridicule is directed against Peter Swan, the Cockney cousin, who arrives in Ireland as a ‘travelling towerist’, in search of the picturesque. On 16 April i838, a dramatised version of the novella began a highly successful run at London’s Adelphi Theatre. Of Hall’s nine novels, The Whiteboy (1845) is the darkest and most substantial: set in the context of agrarian agitation in 1822, it [458] portrays the desperation of a generation with ‘no hope beyond hunger, revolt and death’. [Bibl. Maureen Keane, Mrs. S. C. Hall: A Literary Biography, Colin Smythe 1997; Riana O’Dwyer, ‘Women’s Narratives, 1800-1840’, in Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol. V, ed. Angela Bourke, et al. pp.833-94.) Kelleher later compares the results of delinquent landlordism described by Gustave de Beaumont (Ireland: Social, Political and Religious [trans.] 1839) and Johann Georg Kohl (Travels in Ireland, 1843) with the Hall’s belief that Ireland was on the eve of a new era of economic prosperity since English capitalists now considering the country to be ‘a vast field in which judicious labour may be assured a profitable harvest’ (Ireland: Its Scenery and Character, 3 vols. (London: How & Parsons, 1841-43, 1, p.iv; here p.462).

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Quotations
Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s Tour of Ireland in 1840 [viz., Ireland, Its Scenery, Character, &c, 3 vols, ill., London: How & Parsons 1841] rep. edn., ed. Michael Scott (London: Sphere Books 1984) - Preface: ‘[…] There is little doubt that the first potatoes grown in the British Empire were planted at Youghal - probably in 1586 - by Sir Walter Raleigh, who became a mayor of the town in 1588. For a long period however, the potato was cultivated in gardens as a rarity and did not become general food. / […] It is uncertain when the potato became an article of general food in Ireland, and it is more probable that, as in England, they had long been considered “conserves, toothsome and daintie”, before they were in general use. It is generally believed, however, that the potato celebrated in the Elizabethan age, is “not the same root as that now commonly known by that name”. / […] It is unnecessary to state that, for above a century and a half, the potato has been the only food of the peasantry of Ireland. They raise corn, wheat, barley and oats in abundance, but it is for export and - although the assertion may startle many - we have no hesitation in saying that there are hundreds in the less civilised districts of the country who have never tasted bread Whether the Irish have to bless or ban the name of Sir Walter Raleigh is a matter still in dispute, but it is generally admitted that a finer or hardier race of peasantry cannot be found in the world, and although it is considered that their strength fails them at a comparatively early age, it is impossible to deny the nutritive qualities of the root upon which so many millions have thriven and increased. […’; cont.]

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Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s Tour of Ireland in 1840 [1841]; rep. edn. 1984) - Preface: ‘But there can be as little doubt that the ease with which the means of existence are procured has been the cause of evil; a very limited portion of land, a few days labour, and a small amount of manure will create a stock upon which a family may exist for twelve months. Also, the periods between exhausting the old stock and digging the new are seasons of great want, if not of absolute famine. If the season is propitious the peasant digs day after day the produce of his plot of ground and, before winter sets in, places the residue in a pit to which he has access when his wants demand a supply. Every cottage has a garden of an acre or half-acre attached, and as cultivation requires but a very small proportion of the peasant’s time and still less of his attention, his labor remains to be disposed of, or his time may be squandered in idleness. He can live if his crops do not fail, and he can pay his rent if his pig - fed like himself out of the garden - does not die, but to decency of clothing and to any of the luxuries that make life something more that animal existence, he is too often a stranger. [/…] The peasant usually has three meals - one at eight in the morning, at noon, and at seven or eight in the evening when his work is done. The potatoes are boiled in an iron pot and strained in a basket from which they are thrown upon the table - seldom without a cloth - and around which the family sit on stools and bosses (the boss is a low seat of straw). The usual drink is buttermilk when it can be had, and it goes around in a small piggin, a sort of miniature English pail […].’ (For longer extracts, see in RICORSO Library, infra.)

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Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s Tour of Ireland in 1840 [1841]; rep. edn. 1984) - on Faction Fights: ‘Many years have passed since we witnessed one of those disgusting scenes; unhappily with their brutality and cruelty was frequently mixed up so much fun and humour and physical courage, that their revolting character was not immediately perceptible, although generosity was rare ingredient in a fight, and women too frequently mingled in it […] We recollect seeming one of the “gentler sex” striking left and right with a terrific weapon – a huge stone in a stocking-foot – and noting several men knocked down by her blows without either of them aiming a single blow at her in return’ (Ibid., p.445); also, ‘stout shillelagh’, ‘Kippeen’, ‘[Cappaleen]’, ‘Wattle’; Connels v. Lawlers (p.446-47).

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Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s Tour of Ireland in 1840 [1841]; rep. edn. 1984) - on Round Towers: ‘In 1830 the Royal Irish Academy proposed a prize for a satisfactory essay on the subject, and adjudicated on the claims of two writers, who delivered essays advocating opposite opinions, by giving prizes to both. Mr O’Brien, one of the victors, afterwards published his views, which were on the heathen side of the question; whilst the work of Mr Petrie, who adopted the Christian view, remains still unpublished. / Before the close of the last century these structures had excited but little attention. Neither Stanihurst, Ursher [recte Ussher], Ware, Colgan, O’Flaherty, Keating, nor the venerable Charles O’Connor [recte O’Conor] had bestowed the slightest notice on them in their various works. In the seventeenth century, Lynch, Walsh and Molyneux alone recognised their existence [but] fell into such absurdities … &c.’ (Ibid., p.453.) Also cites views of Thomas Campbell, Sir R. Colt Hoare, Walter Harris (Hist. Co. Down), Sylvester O’Halloran, Milner, et al., chiefly favouring Anchorite towers, though the theory of their being copied from Eastern Anchorites (stylites) disposed of by Dr. Lanigan. Further cites Lynch and Ledwich who favour a Danish origin, the latter stooping to misrepresentation of Giraldus Cambrensis, who calls them Irish in origin (in Topographia): ‘[E]lsewhere this inconsistent antiquarian says that Cambrensis saw the Irish in the act of building them. Moore (Origin of the Pillar Tower) considers them repositories for church utensils; ‘[George] Petrie, as far as we can learn from his Essay, regards them as belfries [and] repositories’ [456]; others incl. Gough (Christian minarets), Shea (monuments to founders of Christianity in Ireland), William Willes of Cork (episcopal indexes to point of cathedral churches). The Halls find an ‘insuperable difficulty in the Christian theory’, lying in the source or ‘prototype’, and refers to Annals and etymology, as well as Cambrensis (towers beneath Lough Neagh), with the findings that vernacular Cillcagh or Golcagh compounds words for fire and divinity; ‘the worship of fire by the ancient Irish is sufficiently vouched for my the Irish annals and the saints’ lives … May, Midsummer’ [458]; Sun-Tower; Indian Towers were Mithraic, that is, consecrated to solar worship … we are coerced to consider those of Ireland as similar, that they were fire temples dedicated to the worship of the sun.’ [End].

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Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall’s Tour of Ireland in 1840 [1841]; rep. edn. 1984) - on the Irish Language: here called ‘very rational and beautiful in its philosophy and far less difficult to learn than is generally imagined; bears impress of its Phoenician descent; Ogham Scheme; ‘the Irish language is certainly the best preserved, as it is the purest of all the Celtic dialects; Queen Elizabeth appointed Irish professorship, idea not favoured by her premier Burleigh (‘What! encourage a language more nearly allied to canine barking than to the articulation human?’); ‘bold and beautiful figments of Macpherson [Ossian]; admirable adaption for lyrical composition [463]; vernacular tongue of 2 millions; [note curious repetition, ‘The Irish language is a dialect of the Celtic and the purest dialect extant’, 463].

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Sundry remarks
Root of evils
: ‘My design was to exhibit and illustrate those peculiarities in the Irish character which appear to be the root of evils in their condition.’ (Stories of the Irish Peasantry, 1840, ‘Dedication’, p.5; quoted in Mary Helen Thuente, Foreword to Representative Irish Tales, ed. W. B. Yeats [1891; rep. edn.], Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1979, p.13.)

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Of Ireland: ‘There are two nations on one soil; Celt and Saxon, Roman and Protestant, Irish and English Irish […]’ (Sketches of Irish Character, London 1829; quoted in Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006 [Intro.], p.li, citing Zimmerman, The Irish Storyteller, Dublin 2001, p.239.)

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Keening: ‘At Brandon we beheld a melancholy scene-several carts returning to their homes in the country, which they had quitted in the morning with money to procure food, but compelled to go back without it. Woman and children accompanied them with loud cries, literally “keening”, as if they were following a corpse to its place of rest.’ (Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, Ireland: Its scenery, Character, And history, Vol 1, 1841; cited Conrad Bladey, Irish Potato Famine Commemoration Website [link].)

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Secret Societies: (Mr & Mrs Hall’s Tour of 1840 [3 vols., 1841-43] ed. Michael Scott [abridged in 2 vols.] (London: Sphere Books 1984): ‘We do not hesitate our conviction that of all these societies there has not been one that has not been influenced by or designed to influence Religion, but that the sole object of their jurisdictions is Land, and that in issuing their mandates and executing their sentences, no regard whatever is given to the consideration whether the object of them is Catholic or Protestant.’ (p.438.)

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Improvements: ‘Of late a decided improvement has taken place among all classes throughout Ireland … the country is on the eve of a new era – from the one side jealousy and suspicion are rapidly removing, and from the other, prejudice is rapidly departing.’ (Mr & Mrs S. C. Hall, Ireland, Its Scenery [… &c.], 1841-43; Vol. I, iii-iv; quoted in Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish History and English History, Lane/Penguin 1993, p.68.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography
[ODNB], notes that she edited St. James Magazine, 1862-3; nine novels incl. Lights and Shadows; two plays, and fiction, Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1840), and Midsummer Eve, a fairy tale of love (1848); collaborated with her husband. RAF adds that she spent her childhood at Bannow, Co. Wexford; cites commentaries, Hamilton Buckley, Notable Irishwomen, X, [q.d.]pp.129-141; Harrison, Irish Women Writers, IV, 280-306; and William Maginn’s Gallery.

A photo-portrait by Elliott & Frye of London is held at www.picturehistory.com [online].

Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919) lists 10 titles, incl. Irish Life and Character (1910); Marian (1848); Midsummer Eve (1848); Nelly Nowlan (1848); Popular Tales; Sketches of Irish Character, 2 vols. (1829, 1842); Whiteboy (1855).

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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, Vol 2 (Gerrards Cross 1980), feminism, anti-alcoholism, spiritualism, charitable causes, and wifely perfection; b. Dublin of Huguenot origin, went to London at 15; fashionable gatherings and philanthropic enter-prises with her husband; d. 30 Jan 1881. Lists: Sketches of Irish Character, 2 vols. (Lon 1829). Vol I: “Lilly O’Brien”, “Kelly the Piper”, “Captain Andy”, “Independence”, “Black Dennis”, “Old Frank”; II, “The Bannow Postman”, “Father Mike”, “Master Ben”, “Hospitality”, “Peter the Prophet”. Sketches of Irish Life, 2nd ser. (1831), ded. to Maria Edgeworth and containing “Mabel O’Neil’s Curse”, “Annie Leslie”, “The Rapparee”, “Norah Clarey’s Wise Thought”, “Kate Connor”, “We’ll See About It”, “Jack the Shrimp”, “Irish Settlers in an English Village”, “Mark Connor’s Wooing and Wedding”, “Luke O’Brian”, “Larry Moore”, “Mary Magoharty’s Petition”, “The Last of the Line”; Chronicles of a Schoolroom (1830); The Buccaneer, a tale, 3 vols. (London: Bentley 1832); The Outlaw, 3 vols. (Bentley 1835); Tales of Woman’s Trials ([London:] Houlston 1835); Uncle Horace, 3 Vol. novel (London: Colburn 1838); Lights and Shadows of Irish Life, 3 vols. (London: Colburn 1838), Vol. I: “The Groves of Blarney”; Vol. II: “Sketches on Irish Highways during the Autumn of 1834”; Vol. III: “Illustrations of Irish Pride”, “The Dispensation”, “Old Granny”; “Marian, or A Young Maid’s Fortunes”, 3 vols. (London: Colburn 1840); with S. C. Hall, Ireland, Its Scenery, Character, &c, 3 vols. (London: How & Parsons 1841), ill.; with S. C. Hall, A Week at Killarney (London: J. How 1843); Characteristic Sketches of Ireland and the Irish, by W. Carleton, S. Lover, and Mrs Hall, etchings by Kirkwood (Dublin: P. D. Hardy & Sons, 1845), incls. her stories “The Irish Agent”; “Philip Garraty, or We’ll See About It”; A Midsummer Eve: A Fairy Tale of Love (London: Longman 1848); Stories of the Irish Peasantry (Edinburgh: Chambers 1850) [first in 1840, IF], contains “Too Early to Wed”, “Time Enough”, “It’s Only a Drop”, “Do you think I’d Inform”, “The Landlord Abroad”, “The Landlord At Home”, “It’s Only a Bit of a Stretch”, “Sure It was Always So”, “It’s only the Bit and the Sup”, “The Follower of the Family”, “Reddy Ryland”, “The Crock of Gold”, “The Wrecker”, “It’s only My Time”, “Going to the Law”, Union is Strength”, “Family Union”, “Going to Service”, “Debt and Danger”, “The Tenant Right”; The Fight of Faith, 2 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall 1850). Plays, St Pierre, The Refugee (London: J. Macrone 1837), 2 act burletta; Mabel’s Curse, (Duncombe [1837]), 2 act mus. dram.; The Groves of Blarney (London: Chapman & Hall 1838), 3 act dram.; Juniper Jack, or My Aunt’s Hobby (unpublished burletta). Note, Stephen Brown, Guide to Books on Ireland, lists Mrs S. C. Hall Groves of Blarney (1836) [play], with Tyrone Power.

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Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978), cites William Maginn, ‘Gallery of Lit. Chars.,’ No. 73, Mrs. S. C. Hall’, in Fraser’s Magazine, 13 (1836); Do., rep. in Daniel Maclise, A Gallery of Illustrious Characters … Accompanied by Notices Chiefly by the late William Maginn (London 1873). Also‘Our Portrait Gallery’, No. 10, in Dublin University Magazine, 16 (1840). Cites James Newcomer, ‘Mrs Samuel Carter Hall and The Whiteboy’, in Etudes Irlandais 8 (Dec 1983), pp.113-19.

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Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), her first sketches appeared in Amulet; Sketches (1829) have pathos without exaggeration and are free from ill-natured humor and political or religious bigotry; Tales of Woman’s Trials incl. ‘Marian Raymond’ and ‘Trials of Lady Montague’, stories of loving and noble characters dragged down by weak and worthless husbands; Lights and Shadows (1838) deals with passionate affections and dark passions of Irish men and women; a story in this series was produced on stage as ‘The Groves of Blarney’; Marian tran. German and Dutch; Midsummer Eve appeared in Art Union/Art Journal, and do. ‘Pilgrimages to English Shrines; other novels incl. A Woman’s Story (1857); Can Right Be Wrong? (1857); The Fght of Faith, A Story of Ireland (1862 [sic]); The Book of the Thames (1868), and The Book of South Wales (1869); temperance and anti-consumptive movements; assisted Thomas Moore Celebrations, erecting a subcription window in Bromham Church. d. 30 Jan 1881.

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John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Longmans 1988; rep. 1989), notes that in late girlhood she wrote the kind of Irish sketches which went down well with the English reading public … Genuinely and practically philanthropic, she was instrumental in setting up the Hosp. for Consumption at Brompton, and the London Home for Decayed Gentlewomen; the tone of her fiction is excessively moralistic and glories in the self-sacrifice of the heroine; successful plays and ran something like a salon in London; never popular in Ireland despite the persistent Hibernian flavour.

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Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own (rev. 1984), bio-note, novelist, journalist; . 1824, no children; interested in Temperance, women’s rights, plight of needy governesses; she was anti-suffrage; conducted Sharpe’s London Magazine from 1845, and St. James’s Magazine, 1861.

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Frank O’Connor, ed., A Book of Ireland (London: Collins 1959, & Edns.),gives extract on ‘Killarney’ from Ireland … Scenery [ &c.]

Eggeling Books (Cat. 44) lists Sunbeam Stories, Pretty Tales for Girls and Boys (Milner (189[?]), 4 vols., 3 by Mrs Hall, first edn. thus; incls. Deed Not Words, Fanny Murray and Other Choice Stories, 80pp.; The Follower of the Family, and I’s Only a Drop, 80pp.; All is Not Gold that Glitters!, 80pp.; with anon., The First Pinao-Forte and Other Choice Stories, from works of best French authors. {note however that Sunbeam … valse for pianoforte, c.1922, is given as a musical work of A. Hall in British Library Cat.]

Emerald Isle Books (1995) lists Midsummer Eve, A Fairty Tale of Love (London: Longman 1848), 270pp. [set in Kerry], ill. Maclise, Meadows, Hulme et al.]; Stories of the Irish Peasantry (Edinburgh: Chambers 1850); Hand-Books for Ireland: The south and Killarney (London: Virtue 1853), maps and woodcuts; The Trial of Sir Jasper: A Temperance Tale in Verse (London: Virtue [1872]), ills. by George Cruikshank et al.

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De Burca (Cat. 44, 1997) lists Mr. & Mrs. S. C. Hall, Ireland: Its Scenery, Character. With engraved title, numerous steel engravings, vignettes and maps of the counties. Three volumes. London, Virtue, n.d. c. 1845. Pages (1) xii, 436 (2) viii, 468 (3) viii, 512. Superb set in blind stamped and gilt embossed cloth. All edges gilt. Best edition with over 600 illustrations, including plates from Bartlett’s ‘Scenery & Antiquities of Ireland’ and maps of the counties in colour. [£385].

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English Novels 1830-36: A Bibliography of British Fiction (Cardiff) [] lists Real Life: Pages from the Portfolio of a Chronicler (Edinburgh: Waugh and Innes; M. Ogle, Glasgow; R. M. Tims, and W. Curry, & Co. Dublin; and Whittaker & Co. London, 1832), vi, 326pp., unconvincingly attributed to Anna Maria Hall in FirstSearch WorldCat Catalogue [OCLC 12100720] on the grounds that a copy of Real Life (New York, 1835) was bound with a copy of Hall's Tales of Woman's Trials (New York, 1835). [See English Novels 1830-36 - online; acccessed 20.06.2010.]

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Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds Mrs S. C. Hall, Stories of Irish Peasantry (Edinburgh 1851); The North & Giant’s Causeway (London 1853); A Week at Killarney (London 1865) [Segment Copy]; also rep edns., Tales of Irish Life & Character (London 1910), ill. Erskine Nicol; and Tales of Irish Life & Character (London; Foulis 1913). CATL, Cathach 96/97 has Tales of Irish Life & Character (London: Nattali 1844), 380pp., xxx [scarce].

Hyland Books (Oct. 1995) lists with S. C. Hall, Companion to Killarney (1878), map in end pocket. Belfast Central Public Library holds Katie Summers (n.d.) Univ. of Ulster (Morris Collection) holds Tales of Irish Life and Character (1910).

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Notes
The Whiteboy (1845), a novel; the title-character Lawrence Macarthy, is the child of a mixed marriage, and is killed in the outcome, while Edward Spencer, the central character and a returned absentee landlord, adopts a policy of meliorism on his estate as a result of lessons learned.

Sketches of Irish Character [1829], ed. Marion Durnin (London: Pickering & Chatto 2014): ‘Hall’s sketches look back to the early years of the nineteenth century, when the Act of Union was passed, and are infused with memories of the 1798 uprising. In her introduction, Durnin shows that – far from being patronizing accounts of the Irish peasantry – Hall provides a genuine insight into the social and political upheaval of the period. Further insight can be gained by the illustrations; the idealized portraits of Irish women in the third, revised edition (1844) would have affected the perception of the reader. Durnin examines the illustrations and the textual variance between editions, to present a comprehensive critical edition of a forgotten literary gem.’ (Pickering & Chatto - online; accessed 28.01.2014.)

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