1907-1966 [née Kelly]; b. Rathangan, Co. Kildare; ed. Brigidine
Convent, Carlow, where she underwent teacher-training; went to Madrid
Spain as an au pair, 1925; acted as governess and later sec. to Princess
Bibesco in Spain, who freed her from au pair bondage; acted as foreign
correspondent for Banco Calamarte; wrote journalism for El Debate;
returned to marry; and finally journalist; returned to Ireland to marry
a man with whom she had corresponded while in Madrid, but who proved incapable
of making a living (m. 1928); worked as journalist and broadcaster, running
childrens programmes; the best known novels relate her experiences; Never No More (1942), set in Co. Kildare and much concerned her
beloved grandmother and her death at Derrymore House; Touched by the
Thorn (1943), containing an account of a heroine who commits marital
infidelity; won Irish Women Writers Award but banned in Ireland, and reissued
as Alone We Embark (1943); No More than Human (1944); Lift
Up Your Gates (1946), the story of Chrissie, a slum-girl, and her
encounters with other people, issued as Liffey Lane in America
(1947); numerous childrens stories incl. Gold of Glanaree
(NY: Longmans, Green 1945); The Cottage in the Bog (1946); Green
Orchard (1949), featuring Tinkler the cat who runs away to the circus;
adapted Liffey Lane for RTÉ as Tolka Row, the
stations first soap-opera, 1964-68; Tolka Row was staged at the Gate Theatre, (Feb. 1971); lived on Fitzwilliam Sq.; d.
26 July 1966; her
fairy tales collected posthumously as The Queen of Arans Daughter
(1995), with foreword by Pat Donlon; she also issued a cookbook, 1946, and supplied abundant culinary information in her novels. IF DIW DIL KUN IN DIB OCIL
Fiction, Never No More¸ pref. by Seán OFaolain
(London/NY: Longmans 1942) [also Virago 1985, 1992]; Alone We Embark
(London: Longmans 1943), and Do., issued in America as Touched
by the Thorn (NY: Longmans, Green 1943); No More than Human
(London: Longmans 1944; 2nd imp. 1945) (iv), 5-231pp.; Do. rep.
(London: Virago 1986); Gold of Glanaree (NY: Longmans, Green 1945); The Cottage in the Bog (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1946) [var.
1945]; Do., rep. (Dublin: Town House. 1992), 124pp., ill. Barry
Castle; [a childrens book, 7-11s, well-known as Patricia Lynch in
its day]; Lift Up Your Gates (London: Longmans, Green 1946; 2nd
imp. 1947), vi, 7-250pp., Do., as Liffey Lane (NY: Longmans,
Green 1947); The Green Orchard (London: Longmans, Green ); The Queen of Arans Daughter, foreword Pat Donlon (Dublin:
Poolbeg 1995) [seven prev. unpub. fairy-tales; ill. Barry Castle, her
Miscellaneous, Flour Economy (Dublin: Browne & Nolan ); Maura Lavertys
Cookbook (London: Longmans, Green 1946; NY&Toronto: Longmans,
Green 1947); Kind Cooking (Dublin: Elect. Supply Board ); Full and Plenty (Irish Flour Millers Assoc. 1960, 2nd ed. 1966).
Note, Seán OFaoláin, preface to Never No More (1942), and Maeve Binchy, preface to Virago reprint (1985; reiss. 1992), 284pp.
Luke Gibbons, From Kitchen Sink to Soap; Drama and the Serial Form
on Irish Television, in Transformations in Irish Culture (Cork
UP 1996), pp.44-69: Maura Laverty, scripted Tolka Row, 1964-68,
with script-editor Carolyn Swift, and latterly joined by Wesley Burrowes,
who created The Riordans; Laverty, living at Fitzwilliam Sq., said
she came to know the horror and warmth of the nearby slums. She
found the women there more akin to the countrywomen she had grown up with
than anything she found anmong the citys bourgeoisie (Quoted
in Profile, RTV Guide, 13 May, 1966, p.15; Gibbons,
Belfast Central Public Library holds Alone We Embark (1944); Kind Cooking
(n.d.); Never No More (1942); No More than Human (1950).
No More than Human (1944): I had visualised Spain as a laughing bare-shouldered girl with a rose in her hair. She had turned out to be a bleak-eyed forbidding wardress with a lunch of keys in one hand, and a penal code in the other (q.p.).
Tinker and the Green Orchard (Dublin: Town House 1992): Tinkler, a cat tired of being polite, runs away, is snatched to perform
in Flanagans Mammoth Circus, and a rosy old lady helps him and his
travelling companions escape.
Tragic death: a son, Jimmy, died from drug addiction in the 1970s.