Samuel Lover (1797-1868)


Life
b. Dublin, 24 Feb. 1797; the son of a stockbroker’s son; he became known as a childhood musical and artistic prodigy; disinherited on quitting the family business; elected Sec. of the RHA in 1828; settled in London in 1835; launched Bentley’s Miscellany with Dickens and Ainsworth; issued Legends and Stories of Ireland (1831), Rory O’More (1836) and Handy Andy (1842; [Dent 1907; rep. 1954]); toured England and America with his “Irish Evenings”, from 1844; created Paddy’s Portfolio based on his American experiences, 1848; served as librettist for Balfe’s English Opera House, with Il Paddy Whack in Italia (1841), and again after 1848;
 
Lover wrote 300 songs incl. “The Angel’s Whisper”; “Rory O’More”, “Molly Bawn”; “The Low-Backed Car” and “The Four-Leaved Shamrock”; ed. Amateur (Nov. 1849-Jan 1850), an unsuccessful lavish fine-arts and literary journal published by A. W. Emerson, Dublin; d. 6 July 1868 [aetat. 72], at St. Helier on a trip to Jersey, and bur. Kensel Green Cemetery; there is a monument in the north aisle of St. Patrick’s Cathedral; a contemporary life was written by Bernard Bayle (1874); a self-portrait in chalk (1828) is held in the National Gallery of Ireland; a film-version of Rory O’More (1911), dir. Sidney Olcott, was one of the earliest films made in Ireland. CAB ODNB JMC IF MKA DIW DIB RAF NCBE SUTH OCIL

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Works
  • Legends and Stories of Ireland, 1st Ser. (Dublin: Wakeman 1831), , xx, 227pp., ill [see details & editions]; rep. up to 1900 incl. London: Ward & Lock ‘new edition’ [n.d.]; and Constable edn. 1899, ed., D. J. O’Donoghue, as infra]; Do. (NY: D. & J. Sadlier 1880), 339pp. [19cm.].
  • The Parson’s Horn Book (Dublin: The Comet 1831) [ills. and some satiric poems prob. by Lover];
  • Legends and Stories of Ireland, 2nd Ser. (London: Baldwin 1834);
  • Popular Tales and Legends of the Irish Peasantry (Wakeman) [ills. only; see RAF, infra];
  • Rory O’More, A National Romance (George Routledge n.d.), 391pp. [epigraph, ‘There’s luck in odd numbers’]; Rory O’More; A National Romance (1837) [3 act adapt. of the foregoing novel];
  • The White Horse of the Peppers (London: Acting Nat. Drama 1838), com. dram. in 2 acts;
  • The Hall Porter (London: Acting Nat. Drama 1839), com. drama in 2 acts;
  • The Happy Man (London: Acting Nat. Drama), extrav. in 1 act;
  • Songs and Ballads (London: Chapman & Hall 1839);
  • English Bijou Almanack for 1840 (London: A Schloss 1840);
  • The Greek Boy (London: Acting Nat. Drama 1840), mus. dram. in 2 acts;
  • Il Paddy Whack in Italia (London: Duncombe’s Brit. Theatre 1841), operetta in 2 acts;
  • Handy Andy (London: F. Lover 1842), and Do. [another edn.][ (London: Dent 1954);
  • Mr Lover’s Irish Evenings, The Irish Brigade (London: Johnson 1844), poem;
  • Treasure Trove: … Accounts of Irish Heirs, Being a Romantic Tale of the Last Century (London: F. Lover 1844), 26 ills. by Lover [Sadleir 1453];
  • Characteristic Sketches of Ireland and the Irish (Dublin: P. D. Hardy 1845);
  • Barney the Baron (London: Dick’s Stand. Plays 1850), farce in 1 act;
  • ed., The Lyrics of Ireland (London: Houston & Wright 1860);
  • MacCarty More (London: Lacy 1861), com. dram. in 2 acts;
  • with Charles Mackay & Thomas Miller, Original Songs for Rifle Volunteers (London: C. H. Clarke 1861).

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Bibliographical details
Legends and Stories of Ireland. By Samuel Lover, R.H.A. With Etchings by the Author. (Dublin: W. F. Wakeman, 9, D’Olier-Street; Baldwin and Cradock, London; Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1831), xx, 227pp., ill. 12°; boards [7s.’ first noticed 26 Feb 1831]. Dedication, p.[iii], to “Sir Martin Archer Shee, P.R.A., a Painter - a Poet - and an Irishman’, signed “The Author’. Introduction occupies pp.[xiii]–xx; also list of contents (1p.) and “Glossary’ (2pp.) preceeding main text. Contents: “King O’Toole and St. Kevin. A Legend of Glendalough”, pp.[1]–14; “Lough Corrib”, pp.[15]–17; “Manuscript from the Cabinet of Mrs.--. A Legend of Lough Mask”, pp.[18]–28; “The White Trout; a Legend of Cong”, pp.[29]–40; “The Battle of the Berrins, or the Double Funeral”, pp.[41]–56; “Father Roach”, pp.[57]–63; “The Priest’s Story”, pp.[64]–74; “The King and the Bishop. A Legend of Clonmacnoise”, pp.[75]–91; “An Essay on Fools”, pp.[92]–100; “The Catastrophe”, pp.[101]–121; “The Devil’s Mill”, pp.[122]–135; “The Gridiron; or, Paddy Mullowney’s Travels in France”, pp.[136]–147; “Paddy the Piper”, pp.[148]–160; “The Priest’s Ghost”, pp.[161]–165; “New Potatoes, an Irish Melody”, pp.[166]–175; “Paddy the Sport”, pp.[176]–202; “National Minstrelsy. Ballads and Ballad Singers”, pp.[203]–227. No specific printer’s mark discovered. 2nd ser. 1834. Further edns.: 2nd edn. (1832); 3rd edn. (1834); 4th edn. (London 1837). With 2nd ser. (London 1847); (London 1853); (London 1860); (London 1870); (Philadelphia 1835); French trans. as Légendes irlandaises, serially published in the periodical Le Moniteur universel (1856). Preface, pp. [vii]–xi, notes: “although most of the tales are authentic, there is one, purely my own invention, namely, “The Gridiron.” // Many of them were originally intended merely for the diversion of a few friends round my own fire-side - there, recited in the manner of those from whom I heard them, they first made their début, and the flattering reception they met on so minor a stage, led to their appearance before larger audiences - subsequently, I was induced to publish two of them in the Dublin Literary Gazette, and the favourable notice from contemporary prints, which they received, has led to the publication of the present volume’ (pp.[vii]–viii). [See English Novels 1830-36: A Bibliography of British Fiction - online; accessed 20.06.2010.)

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Legends and Stories of Ireland. By Samuel Lover, Esq. R.H.A. Second Series. (London: Baldwin and Cradock, Paternoster Row; and sold by W. F. Wakeman, Dublin, 1834); x, 324pp., ill., music. 16° [cloth 7s 6d; first noticed in June 1834; copy in 1 libraries [BL].Title page same as first; ded. p.[v], ‘To Thomas Moore, Esq., This Little Volume is inscribed, as a Tribute of Esteem and Admiration, from his Friend and Countryman, Samuel Lover.’ CONTENTS (1p.): “Barny O’Reirdon, The Navigator”, pp.[1]–65 [of which] Chap. I. ‘Outward-bound’ [I]; Chap. II. ‘Homeward-bound’ [for extract, see 1899 rep. edition, infra]; “The Burial of the Tithe”, pp.[67]–106; “The White Horse of the Peppers: A Legend of the Boyne”, pp.[107]–186 [of which] Chap. I. [no title]; Chap. II: ‘The Legend of the Little Weaver of Duleek Gate: A Tale of Chivalry’; Chap III. ‘Conclusion of the White Horse of the Peppers’; “The Curse of Kishogue” [of which] ‘Introduction’; [Chap. I.] ‘The Sheebeen House’; [Chap. II.] “The Curse of Kishogue”, pp.[187]–216; “The Fairy Finder”, pp.[217]–250; “The Leprechaun and the Genius’, pp.[251]–257 [in verse]; “The Spanish Boar and the Irish Bull: A Zoological Puzzle”, pp.[259]–272; “Little Fairly”, pp.[273]–315; “Judy of Roundwood”, pp.[316]–324. NOTES [269]; 7pp. adverts. See ‘Notice’, pp.[vii]–viii, in which the author disavows authorship of ‘A Book, entitled “Popular Stories and Legends of the Peasantry of Ireland, with Illustrations, by Samuel Lover”, […] lately […] published in Dublin’ - adding: ‘Six illustrations for the volume were supplied by me, and those who are answerable for the work should have let the public distinctly understand that so far only was I concerned, and not have imputed to me, by a questionable use of my name, an authorship which I feel it necessary to disavow. // From the duplicity of this title, many have been induced to imagine that the work, to which it is prefixed, is my Second Series of Legends and Stories; and this very name, too, has been assumed, with a mere transposition, the book being entitled “Stories and Legends”, although there is not a single legend in its pages’ (p.viii). The work in question is probably Popular Tales and Legends of the Irish Peasantry. With Illustrations by S. Lover (see 1834: 17). An addendum to the Notice reads: ‘The very great popularity with which Barny O’Reirdon, the Navigator, was favoured on its appearance in the Dublin University Magazine, has induced me to add it, along with Little Fairly, from the same quarter, to the following Collection of Tales, which, with these exceptions, I place, for the first time, before the Public, in hope of their continued indulgence’ (p.viii). In an ‘Address’ to the reader, pp.[ix]–x, the author notes that his ‘first exercise’ has already been promoted ‘to the rank of third edition.’ (p.x). Printer’s mark reads ‘Chiswick Press: Printed by C. Whittingham’, with similar colophon: ‘Chiswick: Printed by C. Whittingham’. Further edns: 2nd edn. (1837). With 1st ser.: (London 1847); (London 1853); (London 1860); (London 1870); (Philadelphia 1835); French trans. 1856 as Légendes irlandaises, serially published in Le Moniteur universel]. [See English Novels 1830-36: A Bibliography of British Fiction (Cardiff) [online.; accessed 20.06.2010.]

Legends and Stories of Ireland - reps. up to 1900 incl. London: Ward & Lock ‘new edition’ [n.d.]; Do. [Historical Novels & Tales ser.] (NY: D. & J. Sadlier 1880), 339pp. [19cm.], and Do., ed. D. J. O’Donoghue (London: Constable 1899), as infra].

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Legends and Stories of Ireland [First Series], by Samuel Lover, edited with an Introduction and Notes by D. J. O’Donoghue, author of The Life of William Carleton […&c], Vol. 1 (Westminster: Archibald Constable & co. 1899), 231pp., and 5pp. adverts.; ded. To Sir Martin Archer Shee, P.R.A., ‘A painter - A Poet - and An Irishman, This Volume is Very respectfully inscribed by The Author. CONTENTS: Preface [ix]; Introduction [iii]; Editor’s Introduction [xxi]; King O’Toole and Saint Kevin - A Legend of Glendalough [1] ; Lough Corrib [15]; MS. from the Cabinet of Mrs - [18]; The White Trout - A LEGEND OF CONG [29]; The Battle of the Berrins [40]; Father Roach [56]; The Priest’s Story [62]; The King and the Bishop - A Legend of Clonmacnoise [73]; An Essay on Fools [91]; The Catastrophe [100]; The Devil’s Mill [122]; The Gridiron [136]; Paddy The Piper [148]; The Priest’s Ghost [161]; New Potatoes - An Irish Melody [166]; Paddy the Sport [176]; National Minstrelsy [204]; NOTES [233]. (See Legends of Ireland, 1899 Edn., Vol. 2, seq.)

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Legends and Stories of Ireland [Second Series], Vol. II (Westminster: Archibald Constable & co. 1899), 275pp. [title page same as first], ded. ‘To Thomas Moore, Esq., This Little Volume is inscribed, as a Tribute of Esteem and Admiration, from his Friend and Countryman, Samuel Lover.’ CONTENTS: Barny O’Reirdon, The Navigator: Chap. I. ‘Outward-bound’ [I]; Chap. II. ‘Homeward-bound’ [26; see extract]; The Burial of the Tithe [59]; The White Horse of the Peppers: A Legend of the Boyne: Chap. I. [no title] [94]; Chap. II: The Legend of the Little Weaver of Duleek Gate: A Tale of Chivalry [134]; Chap III. Conclusion of the White Horse of the Peppers [151]; The Curse of Kishogue: Introduction [162]; [Chap. I.] The Sheebeen House [164]; [Chap. II.] The Curse of Kishogue [177]; The Fairy Finder [187]; The Spanish Boar And The Irish Bull: A Zoological Puzzle [217]; Little Fairly [230] NOTES [269].

See also Legends and Tales of Ireland, by Samuel Lover and Thomas Crofton Croker, 3 vols. in 1 (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent [1870] 1900), ill. [21cm]; Do. [facs. rep. of 1870 edn.; 3 vols. in 1] ( London: Bracken 1987), 436pp., ill. [24cm.], and Do., [facs. rep. of 1900 edition] (London: Senate 1995, 1988), 436pp.; and undated edition, Poems of Ireland (London: Ward, Lock & Bowden [n.d.]). [pp.15-269]

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Popular Tales and Legends of the Irish Peasantry. With Illustrations by Samuel Lover, Esq. R.H.A. (Dublin: William Frederick Wakeman; sold in London by Simpkin & Marshall and Richard Groombridge, and by Fraser & Co. Edinburgh, 1834), 404pp., ill. 12°. cloth [7s. 6d.] first noticed April 1834; held in 6 libraries. Frontispiece taken from “The Three Devils”. ’To the Reader’ (1p.) notes: ’The Editor of this Volume deems it but fair to mention, that three or four of the stories appeared originally in The National Magazine and Dublin Literary Gazette. […] One of the stories is from the pen of Mrs S. C. Hall, and two others by the author of Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. [i.e. William Carleton] The remaining sketches, as will readily be perceived, are the production of practised writers, well acquainted with Irish life.’ This is followed by a list of contents (1p.). Contents: “Alley Sheridan, or the Runaway Marriage” (William Carleton), pp.[1]–62; “Kate Connor” (Anna Maria Hall), pp.[63]–77; “Charley Fraser, or the Victim of Jealousy” (Selina Bunbury), pp.[79]–115; “The Whiteboy”s Revenge” (Denis O’Donoho), pp.[117]–134; “Laying a Ghost” (William Carleton), pp.[135]–153; “The Wife of Two Husbands. A Tale Founded on Fact” (J. L. L.), pp.[155]–171; “Reminiscences of an Irish Landlord: The Rebel Chief - 1799” (P. D. H[ardy]), pp.[173]–205; “Mick Delany” (Denis O’Donoho), pp.[207]-244; “The Lost One” (J. L. L.), pp.[245]–262; “The Abduction and Rescue” (Denis O’Donoho), pp.[263]–284; “The Dance” (J. L. L.), pp.[285]–303; “The Shooting Excursion” (Denis O’Donoho), pp.[305]–335; “The Unwedded Mother” (Denis O’Donoho), pp.[337]–371; “The Fetch: A Tale of Superstition” (By J. L. L.), pp.[373]–393; “The Three Devils” (B. A. P.), pp.[395]–404. Printer’s mark on t.p. verso reads: ‘Dublin: Printed by P. D. Hardy, Cecilia-street.’ LG lists as ‘by S. Lover’. Further edn: 2nd edn. (1837). [English Novels 1830-36: A Bibliography of British Fiction (Cardiff) [online.; accessed 20.06.2010.]

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Criticism
  • W. B. Bernard, The Life of S. Lover, RHA, Artistic, Literary and Musical, 2 vols. (London: H. S. King 1874);
  • A. J. Symington, Samuel Lover (London: Blackie 1880);
  • Colette Sigwalt, ‘Samuel Lover: A Study in the Irish Picturesque’ [Diss.] (Strasbourg Univ. 1969);
  • Herbert V. Fackler, “Nineteenth-Century Sources for the Deirdre Legend’, in Éire-Ireland, 4, 4 (Winter 1969), pp.56-63;
  • Barry Sloan, ‘Samuel Lover’s Irish Novels’, in Etudes irlandaises, 7 (1982), pp.31-32,
  • Barry Sloan, ‘Miscellaneous minor fiction and novels by Lover, Carleton and Lever (1834- 1844)’, [chap.] in The Pioneers of Anglo-Irish Fiction, 1800-1850 [Irish Literary Studies, 21] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe NJ: Barnes & Noble 1986), pp.174-94.
Note: Stephen Brown (1919) cites lives by Bayle and Symington.

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Commentary

Oscar Wilde
W. B. Yeats
D. J. O’Donoghue
Maurice Egan
A. P. Graves
C. G. Duggan
Barry Sloan
Ann Stewart
Margaret Kelleher

Oscar Wilde on T. C. Croker and Samuel Lover: ‘a humorist’s Arcadia […] they came from a class that did not - mainly for political reasons - take the populace seriously […] of its passion, its gloom, its tragedy, they knew nothing.’ (Artist as Critic, ibid., p.130; cited in Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 1995, p.49.)

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W. B. Yeats (1): ‘Handy Andy has been the cause of much misconception, and yet, like all he wrote, is full of truthful pages and poetic feeling. Samuel Lover had a deal more poetry in him than Lever. It gives repose and atmosphere to his stories and crops up charmingly in his songs. ‘The Whistling Thief’, for instance, is no less pretty than humorous. But at all times it is the kind of poetry that shines round ways of life other than our own. It is the glamour of distance, and is the same feeling that in a previous age crowded the boards of theatres with peasant girls in high-heeled shoes, and shepherds carrying crooks fluttering with ribbons. At the same time it has a real and quite lawful charm.’ (Introduction, Representative Irish Tales, 1891; Mary Helen Thuente, ed., [rep. edn.] 1979, pp.25-32, p.26.)

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W. B. Yeats (2): […] ‘They [the Anglo-Irish] preferred frieze-coated humanists, dare-devils upon horseback, to ordinary men and women; created in Ireland and elsewhere an audience that welcomed the vivid imagination of Lever, Lover, Somerville and Ross.’ (Prefatory notes to King of the Great Clock Tower, 1934; Sect. III; see further under Yeats, Quotations, infra.) Note also, ‘The White Trout - A Legend of Cong’ in Lover’s Legends and Stories of Ireland [n.d]., pp.23-31, is considered the prob. source of the first stanza of ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ (See A. N. Jeffares, Commentary on the Poems, 1988)

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D. J. O’Donoghue: Introduction to Legends and Stories of Ireland (1899 edn.); ‘[Lover ] has never does anything better than some these’ [i.e., the Legends & Stories] ...“The Gridiron” is perfect of its kind’. Further: ‘Read in the right spirit by anyone possessing the natural brogue of the narrator - not the forced brogue which it is one’s painful task to listen to on many occasions in theatres and at other public entertainments - nothing could be more delectable to hear. […] The discriminating Irish reader will notice in the earlier stories of this first series a lack of familiarity with, or, rather, an inability to express perfectly the characteristic Irish idiom which Lover completely mastered before he had finished his volume. He was evidently doubtful about certain phrases, which he uses in a gingerly manner, and one notices a less confident treatment of peculiarities of the Irish nature than become usual later. In the second series, and indeed before the end of the [xxii] first, this hesitation has disappeared. In truth, it was not until after several of the sketches had appeared in periodicals that Lover perfected his knowledge of the Irish peasantry by frequent visits into the remoter parts of the country - parts which he had previously not visited at all, or only hurriedly for urgent artistic purposes, including the sketching of notable ruins for a Dublin magazine.’ (xxii-xxiii.) [Cont.]

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D. J. O’Donoghue: Introduction to Legends and Stories of Ireland (1899 edn.) - cont.: O’Donoghue describes ‘St Kevin and King O’Toole’ as one of the stock tales of the Glendalough guides; notes charming naiveté and insouciance of ‘Paddy the Sport’, and calls ‘National Minstrelsy’ neither a legend nor a story ‘but one of the most interesting things in the first series’, to ‘be read in company with Dr. Maginn’s brilliant and vigorously handling of the pseudo-Irish lyric […] dealing with cockney attempts to write Irish songs (xxiii; …) Lover’s paper, on the other hand, treats of genuine Irish efforts of the muse - the local or “hedge-school” variety … known in Ireland as “come-all-ye’s” from the fondness of the bard for that inspiring phrase as an opening. … Lover simply makes merry over the Irish assonances and the peculiarly Irish habit of the country bards of ridiculous allusion to all the heathen gods and goddesses and ancient heroes and heroines’; mentions Carleton’s sketch of the hedge-schoolmaster which ‘deliciously exposes the predilection of that worthy person for big words …’, commenting that even Goldsmith, nearly a century before, ‘had noticed this little infirmity of the Irish country schoolmasters’ (xxiv). Notes that “Brian O’Linn”, almost certainly Lover’s, is attributed to Lever in W. J. Fitzpatrick’s biography of the latter. National Minstrelsy includes such ballads as ‘Star of sweet Dundalk’, and the following: ‘Oh, Thady Brady, you are my darling, / You are my looking-glass from night till morning, / I love you better without one fardin / That Brian Gallagher wid house and garden.’ (p.215). [Cont.]

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D. J. O’Donoghue: Introduction to Legends and Stories of Ireland (1899 edn.) - cont.: O’Donoghue quotes Lover Irish on polemical verse: ‘No other country, we believe, sings polemics; but religion, like love, is nourished by oppression; and hence a cause may be assigned by the Roman Catholic population of Ireland enjoyed, with peculiar zest, the ballads that praised their persecuted faith. But of the many fatal results of the relief bill, not the least [215] in the “dark oblivion” into which this exalted class of composition is fast passing away’; further, quotes lines on Sheil: ‘They (the parliament) had better take care about what they are at / For Shiel [sic] is the lad that will give them the chat / With a Ballynamona, oro!- Ballynamona, oro! / Ballynamona, oro! - Brave Shiel and O’Connell for me!’ (p.218).

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D. J. O’Donoghue, ‘Irish Wit and Humour’, in Irish Literature (1904), Vol. VI, p.viiff, ‘Sheridan is an admirable example of a wit, while Lover represents humor in its most confiding aspect … It is from Lover that we get the cream, not the curds, of Irish humor. He is the Irish arch-humorist, and it is difficult to exaggerate the excellence of his songs’’; ‘[Samuel Lover] has never been surpassed as a comic-love poet’; ‘humour in its most confiding aspect’. (ibid., p.x.) NOTE, Stephen Brown (Ireland in Fiction) also cites introductions by O’Donoghue to Rory O’More (1897 ed.), Treasure Trove (1899 ed.), and Legends and Stories of Ireland (1899 ed.).

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Maurice Egan, ‘Irish Novels’, in Irish Literature (1904), Vol. VI, pp.vii-xvii [prev. printed as ‘On Irish Novels’ in Catholic University Bulletin [Washington, D.C.], 10, 3 (July 1904), pp.329-41]: ‘Lover and Lever, however, were romancers rather than story writers. Smollet, or Dickens at his worst - when justly interpreted by Cruikshanks [sic] - was no more of a caricaturist than Lover. Those who read Smollet now, look on his caricatures as bad art and those of Dickens, though deserving a similar censure, do not offend as Lover’s offend. There is the effect, in some of Lover’s comic pages, of heartlessness. Poverty and wit, starvation and humour exist together, but the result in the eyes of an author who does not write merely to make his public laugh, ought to be pathetic, heart-stirring and tear-stirring, rather than amusing; if test of a novel is the question whether one remembers character or incident Lover must be put outside the class of novelists, for, in Rory O’More and Handy Andy, it is the incidents that are etched on our minds. The characters stand out as persons that are created for the incidents. This is even truer of Lever than of Lover. From Harry Lorrequer to Lord Kilgobbin, there is hardly one character, except Micky Free, that holds fast to the memory; there is no person who seems so real as Carleton’s Poor Scholar, Griffin’s Hardress Cregan, or the hero of William [sic] Banim’s Crohoore of the Billhook.’ (p.353; see continuation under Charles Lever, supra; for full text of this essay, RICORSO Library, “Criticism ”, via index, or direct.)

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A. P. Graves, Preface to Poems (Maunsel 2nd edn. 1908): ‘The vulgarities of Stage Irish Songs doubtless determined him [Thomas Moore] to set his face against any form of lyric that could suggest them. But Samuel Lover, who followed him, boldly accepted Lady Morgan’s challenge to find native humour contained in the Irish Popular Songs of their day with the results now so well known. / Yet though Lover, like Moore, was largely inspired by Irish Music and an adapter and singer of Irish airs as well, like Moore also, he let the great body of Gaelic Folk Song quite alone.’ (Preface, p.v.)

C. G. Duggan (Stage Irishman 1937), ‘it is unfortunate that the novels of Lever and Lover, excellent as they are in the delineation of a genuinely humorous side of Irish life, should have led to the final deterioration of the Irishman on the stage at the hands of buffoons who could only appreciate the superficialities of the novelists.’

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Barry Sloan, The Pioneers of Anglo-Irish Fiction 1800-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe; Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes and Noble, 1984), ‘Handy Andy is ‘a blundering fellow whom no English or other gentleman would like to have in his service’. Yeats declared that the character ‘has been the cause of much misconception’ and qualified the statement by observing that the fault lies more with the readers who assume that he is representative than with the author who created him.’ (W. B. Yeats, Representative Irish Tales.)

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Ann Stewart, Portraits of the National Gallery (1986), son of stockbroker, disinherited; earned living as miniaturist; friend of Moore, attended Lady Blessington’s receptions; friend of Dickens; “Rory O’More”, ballad, novel, and play; also opera buffe, Il Paddy Whack in Italia, staged by Balfe at his English Opera Company. One man show of recitations, songs, and stories, entitled “Irish Evenings”, toured England, US, and Canada.

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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: ‘The fame of Samuel Lover rested during the nineteenth century on his reputation as the Irish humourist, and declined in the twentieth century as the genre fell out of fashion. His multiple careers ranged from stockbroker to painter, musician, magazine editor, book illustrator, songwriter, novelist, poet and dramatist. His Legends and Stories of Ireland, some of which were first published in Dublin magazines, were printed in two series (1831, 1834) with many subsequent editions. Lover’s most successful and most fully realised novel, Rory O’More (1837), set in late 1790s Ireland, began as a song, reputedly suggested by Sydney Owenson, and was successfully dramatised later in 1837. Although the plot is largely concerned with the comic misadventures of its hero and the 1798 rebellion occurs mostly off-stage, Lover’s comic targets have a more serious dimension, including various broadsides against the corrupt judicial and political system in Ireland, and his story ends with the emigration of all of its central characters. Later works included Handy Andy: A Tale of Irish Life (1842), previously serialised in the newly founded Bentley’s Miscellany over a two-year period, beginning January 1837, during which time the periodical was edited by Charles Dickens.’ (p.460.)

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Quotations
Legends and Stories of Ireland (Dublin 1831) - Preface: ‘[The stories] are given in the manner of the Irish peasantry; and this has led to some peculiarities that might be objected to, were not the cause explained - namely, frequent digressions in the [l] course of the narrative, occasional adjurations, and certain words unusually spelt. As to the first, I beg to answer, that the stories would be deficient in national character without it; - the Irish are so imaginative, that they never tall a story straight forward, but constantly indulge in episode; for the second, it is only fair to say, that in most cases, the Irish peasant’s adjurations are not meant to be in the remotest degree irreverent; but arise merely from the impassioned manner of speaking, which an excitable people is prone to.’ (q.p.; quoted in Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006 [Intro.], p.p.l-li.)

‘The fool, or natural, or innocent, as represented in the stories of the Irish peasantries, is very muc the fool that Shakespeare occasionally embodies; and, even in the present day, many a witticism and sarcasm, given birth to by these mendicant Touchstones, would be treasured in the memory of our beau monde, under the different heads of brilliant and biting, had they been uttered by a Bushe or a Plunket.’ (Legends and Stotries of Ireland, q.p.; quoted in Benedict Kiely, The Poor Scholar: A Study of William Carleton, 1947; 1972 Mercier edn, p.51.

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Barny O’Riordan, The Navigator” (in Representative Irish Tales, rep. edn. 1979)—

[Barney takes passage as a navigator in a boat bound for Fingal but follows a ship bound for Bengal on a misheard clue; beginning Chap. 1 - “Outward-Bound”:]
 
‘A very striking characteristic of an Irishman is his unwillingness to be outdone. Some have asserted that this arises from vanity, but I have ever been unwilling to attribute an unamiable motive to my countrymen where a better may be found, and one equally tending to produce a similar result; and I consider a deep-seated spirit of emulation to originate this peculiarity. Phrenologists might resolve it by supposing the organ of the love of approbation to predominate in our Irish craniums, and it may be so; but as I am not in the least a metaphysician, and very little of a phrenologist, I leave those who choose to settle the point in question, quite content with the knowledge of the fact with which I started, viz., the unwillingness of an Irishman to be outdone. This spirit, it is likely, may sometimes lead men into ridiculous positions, but it is equally probable that the desire of surpassing one another has given birth to many of the noblest actions, and some of the most valuable inventions; let us, therefore, not fall out with it.
  Now having vindicated the motive of my countrymen, I will prove the total absence of national prejudice in so doing, by giving an illustration of the ridiculous consequences attendant upon this Hibernian peculiarity.
  Barny O’Reirdon was a fisherman of Kinsale. and a heartier fellow never hauled a net or cast a line into deep water; indeed […;’ &c.; p.189]
[...]
 
Chap. 2 - “Homeward Bound” [beginning]:
‘The captain ordered Barny on deck, as he wished to have some conversation with him on what he, very naturally, considered a most extraordinary adventure. Heaven help the captain! he knew little of Irishmen, or he would not have been so astonished. Barny made his appearance. Puzzling question and more puzzling answer followed in quick succession between the commander and Barny, who, in the midst of his dilemma, stamped about, thumped his head, squeezed his caubeen into all manner of shapes, and vented his despair anathematically:
  “Oh, my heavy hathred to you, you tarnal thief iv a long sailor; it’s a purty scrape yiv led me into. Begor, I thought it was Fingal he said, and now I hear it is Bingal. Ow the divil sweep you for navigation; why did I meddle or make with you at all! And my curse light on you, Teddy O’Sullivan; why did I iver come acrass you, you onlooky vagabone, to put sitch thoughts in my head! An’ so it’s Bingal, and not Fingal, you’re goin’ to, captain?”
  “Yes, indeed, Paddy.”
  “An’ might I be bowld to ax, captain, is Bingal much farther nor Fingal?”
  “A trifle or so, Paddy.”
 “Och, thin, millia murther, weirasthru, how will I iver get there at all?” roared out poor Barny.
  “By turning about, and getting back the road you’ve come, as fast as you can.”
 “Is it back? O Queen iv Heaven! an’ how will I iver get back?” said the bewildered Barny. “Then you don’t know your course, it appears?” (pp.202-03.)
[…]

‘Barny then got aboard the American vessel, and begged of the captain that as he had been out at sea so long, and had gone through a “power o’ hardship intirely”, that he would be permitted to go below and turn in to take a sleep; “for, in throth, it’s myself and sleep that is sthrayngers for some time” said Barny, “an’ if your honour’ll be plazed, I’ll be thankful if you won’t let them disturb me antil I’m wanted, for sure till you see the land there’s no use for me in life; an’, throth, I want a sleep sorely.”
  Barny’s request was granted, and it will not be wondered at that, after so much fatigue of mind and body, he slept profoundly for four-and-twenty hours. He then was called, for land was in sight, and when he came on deck the captain rallied him upon the potency of his somniferous qualities, and “calculated” he had never met any one who could sleep “four-and-twenty hours on a stretch before”.
 “Oh, sir”, said Barny, rubbing his eyes, which were still a little hazy, “whiniver I go to sleep I pay attintion to it.”
  The land was soon neared, and Barny put in charge of the ship, when he ascertained the first landmark he was acquainted with; but as soon as the Head of Kinsale hove in sight, Barny gave a “whoo”, and cut a caper that astonished the Yankees, and was quite inexplicable to them, though I flatter myself it is not to those who do Barny the favour of reading his adventures.’ (p.220.)

 

Barney fraudulently offers to pilot an American into Cove of Cork [Cobh]:

 ‘[S]o Barny got himself paid for piloting the ship that showed him the way home’ […].
  ‘And now, sweet readers (the ladies I mean), did you ever think Barny would get home? I would give a hundred of pens to hear all the guesses that have been made as to the probable termination of Barny’s adventure. They would furnish good material, I doubt not, for another voyage. But Barny did make other voyages, I can assure you, and perhaps he may appear in his character of navigator once more, if his daring exploits be not held valueless by an ungrateful world, as in the case of his great predecessor, Columbus.
 As some curious persons (I don’t mean the ladies) may wish to know what became of some of the characters who have figured in this tale, I beg to inform them that Molly continued a faithful wife and timekeeper, as already alluded to, for many years. That Peter Kelly was so pleased with his share in the profits arising from the trip, in the ample return of rum and sugar, that he freighted a large brig with scalpeens to the West Indies, and went supercargo himself.
 All he got in return was the yellow fever.
 Barny profited better by his share: he was enabled to open a public-house, which had more custom than any ten within miles of it. Molly managed the bar very efficiently, and Barny “discoorsed” the customers most seductively; in short, Barny, at all times given to the marvellous, became a greater romancer than ever, and, for years, attracted even the gentlemen of the neighbourhood, who loved fun, to his house, for the sake of his magnanimous mendacity. /
 As for the hitherto triumphant Terry O’Sullivan, from the moment Barny’s Bingal adventure became known, he was obliged to fly the country, and was never heard of more, while the hero of the hooker became a greater man than before, and never was [222] addressed by any other title afterwards than that of THE COMMODORE.’ (pp.221-22.)

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References
Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904) for extract entitled “Barny O’Reirdon, the navigator” [first sentence: ‘a very striking characteristic of an Irishman is his unwillingness to be outdone’; as further, supra]; ‘King O’Toole and St Kevin’ [ending, ‘.. and when he was gone, Saint Kavin gev him an illigant wake and a beautiful berrin’; and more betoken, he said mass for his sowl and tuk care av his goose.’] ‘Paddy the Piper’ [which begins with a epigraph from Much Ado About Nothing, viz. Dogberry, ‘.. they have committed false reports .. spoken untruths .. belied a lady .. verified unjust things .. lying knaves’]. Remarks: ‘A suggestion made by Lady Morgan that Lover should endeavour to present genuine Irish character in song instead of by means of the coarse caricatures previously current resulted in the production of “Rory O’More” and other inimitably songs of the same kind. [See Notes, infra.] The great success of this song suggested the 3-volume novel of Rory O’More, a National Romance, published in 1836.’ Strained eyesight. A daughter married abroad; another died in 1851, following the death of his first wife, Miss Berrel, the dg. of a Dublin architect, in 1848; left alone, he remarried in 1852 and retired into private life. Libretti of two operas for his friend Michael Balfe. A pension in 1856 ‘in recognition of various services to literature and art’ [standard formula - see Hall, &c.]. His rival rhymes include parodies of Campbell, Prout, Longfellow, Macaulay, Thackeray, Hood, and Brougham. An example, after Hood, ‘In France they call them Troubadours, / Or Menestrels by turns; / The Scandanavians call them Scalds / The Scotchmen call their Burns.’ Lived at Ealing, Barnes, and Sevenoaks; his health ‘broke down’ in 1864. D. J. O’Donoghue ranks him highest as a verse humorist (in A Treasury of Irish Poetry). Bibl. cites biography by Bayle Bernard (1874).

McCarthy sums up: ‘If Samuel Lover was not the first in the hearts of his countrymen, it is certain that he occupied a very prominent position there … full of love, pathos, and humour … many of his shorter stories are racy, irresistibly droll, and grotesquely original.’ Lover was in the habit of giving copies of his verses to ladies, all of whom thought them the originals.

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Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists Rory O’More [1838]; Handy Andy [1842], side-splitting misadventures with blundering Irishman; does not pretend to be a picture of real Irish life; Treasure Trove [1832, 1834; 1899, with intro. DJ O’Donoghue]; Legends and Stories of Ireland; Further Stories of Ireland; and Legends and Tales of Ireland (with Croker).

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Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre (1946), Samuel Lover 1799-1868; The Beau Ideal, burletta (Olymp., 9 Nov. 1835); Rory O’More, 3 acts (Adelphi 29 Sept. 1837), Dicks Plays 365; The White Horse of the Peppers, 2 act com. dram. (Hay 26 May 1838), Dicks 441; The Happy Man, extrav. (Hay 20 May 1839), Dicks 328; The Hall Porter, farce (English Opera House, 26 July 1839), Dicks 520; The Greek Boy, mus. dram. (CG 29 Sept. 1840), Dicks 609; Il Paddy Whack in Italia (Eng. Op. House, 22 April 1841), Duncombe, operetta and burl. of Italian operatic methods; McCarthy More or Possession Nine Points of the Law, 2 act com. drama (Lyceum I Apr. 1861); Barney the Baron, one act farce; and The Olympic Premier.

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Brian McKenna, Irish Literature (1978), Bibl. cites obituary notice, in DUM 37 (1851). There is a portrait in the National Gallery of Ireland by James Harwood (1816-1872, b. Clonmel).

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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. II, lists Legends and Stories of Ireland, 1st ser. (Dublin: Wakeman, 1831), with 6 etchings by the author, and containing ‘King O’Toole and St Kevin”, “Lough Corrib”, “MS from the Cabinet of Mrs -”, “The White Trout”, “The Battle of the Berrins”, “Father Roach”, “The Priest’s Story”, “The King and the Bishop”, “A Legend of Clonmacnoise”, “An Essay on Fools”, “The Catastrophe”, “The Devil’s Mill”, ‘The Gridiron”, “Paddy the Piper”, “The Priest’s Ghost”, “New Potatoes”, “Paddy the Sport”, “Ballad and Ballad Singers”; 2nd ser. (Baldwin London, 1834), ill. by the author and W. Harvey, and containing ‘Barny O’Reirdon the Navigator” (DUM, I, 1 Jan 1833, and 2 Feb.), “The Burial of the Tithe”, “The White Horse of the Peppers”, “The curse of the Kishogue”, “The Fairy Finder”, “The Leprechaun and the Genius”, “The Spanish Boar and the Irish Bull”, “Little Fairly” (DUM 1, 4 April 1833), “Judy of Roundwood”; in a reissue of 1889 prefaced by D. J. O’Donoghue, a third volume entitled Further Stories of Ireland, Miscellaneous Stories, Sketches, etc., appears, containing ‘St Patrick and the Serpent”, “It’s Mighty Improvin’”, “The Irish Post Boy”, “Dublin Porters, Carmen and Waiters”, “The Irish Brigade”, “Paddy at Sea”, “Illustrations of National Proverbs” (prev. in The Irish Penny Magazine, Vols. I, No. 5), and “The Happy Man”, dram. His contrib. to Popular Tales and Legends of the Irish Peasantry, a collection that includes Carleton and Mrs. Hall, D. O’Donogho [sic], et al., is confined to illustrations. His works include fiction, Rory O’More (1842); Handy Andy (1842); Treasure Trove: a series of accounts of Irish Heirs, being a romantic Irish tale of the last century … with 26 ill. by the author (1844); Characteristic Sketches of Ireland and the Irish (1845), ill. Kirkwood, with Carleton and Hall stories and two by Lover already printed in Legends and Stories, as well as ‘Paddy Mullonney’s Travels in France’; poetry, The Parsons’s Horn Book (1831); Sons and Ballads (1839), in two parts, I: ‘Songs of the Superstitions of Ireland’, II: ‘Legendary Ballads and Miscellaneous Songs’, 64 titles; English Bijou Almanack for 1840 poetically ill. by S. Lover; Mr Lover’s Irish Evenings, The Irish Brigade (1844); The Lyrics of Ireland (1858), 360pp; Rival Rhymes, in Honour of Burns, with curious illustrative matter, collected and ed. by Ben Trovato (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1859), pastiche, 144pp; theatrical, The Beau Ideal (Olympia 9 Nov. 1835); The Olympic Picnic (Olympia 26 Dec. 1835) ; Rory O’More (Adelphi 25 Aug. 1837; Dick’s Plays); The White Horse of the Peppers, com. drama in 2 acts (Haymarket 26 May 1838); The Happy man, 1 act extrav. (Haymarket 20 May 1839); The Hall Porter, 2 act com. dram. (Eng. Opera House 26 July 1839); The Greek Boy, 2 act mus. dram. (Covent Garden 29 Aug. 1840); Paddy Whack in Italia (Eng. Op. Hs. 22 April 1841); Barney the Baron, 1 act farce (NNT, Nov. 1850; Dicks); The Sentinel of the Alma (Haymarket 18 Nov.); Mac Carthy More, or Possession nine tenths of the law, 2 act com. dram. (Lyceum 1 Apr. 1861) 1854 miscellaneous, Legends and Stories of Ireland, 2 series (1831-34), a third series being added in the 3 vol. ed. of 1889. Bibl., W. B. Bernard, The Life of S. Lover RHA, Artistic, Literary and Musical, with sel. from his unpublished papers and correspondence, 2 Vol. (London 1874); J. A. Symington, Samuel Lover, a bibliographical sketch with selections. From his Writings and Correspondence (London 1880). Add. Original Songs for the Rifle Volunteers (1861).

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John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Longmans 1988; rep. 1989), lists Rory O’More, on stage, a starring vehicle for Tyrone Power. (BL 4.)

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, severely restricts reference to him, Lover is listed as Anglo-Irish novelist without comment by Thomas MacDonagh (1916) [990]; cited by Corkery as ‘accepted [with Prout, Lever, and Maginn] as the genuine voice of the Irish nation. One wonders if any foreign critic thought it worth his while to forecast the future of this nation in the light of their pages’ (Synge and Anglo-Irish Literature, 1931). Luke Gibbon, ed., adds ftn., ‘In nationalist circles … [these] were synonymous with popularising “the stage Irishman’” for the amusement of English audiences.’ [1011].

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Kevin Rockett, et al., eds., Cinema & Ireland (1988), cites Rory O’More (1911), a Kalem film, it gave rise to objections in filming from an local priest, who was quickly moved to another parish (8, 9, 11, 23, 31, 65, 223). SEE ALSO Anthony Slide, The Cinema and Ireland (1988), p.42, ill.; anti-British slant.

Belfast Central Public Library holds Handy Andy; He Would be a Gentleman; Irish Evenings (1844); Legends and Stories of Ireland; Low-Backed Car; Lyrics of Ireland; Metrical Tales; Miscellaneous Stories; Poetical Works (1868); Popular Tales and Legends of the Irish Peasantry (1837); Rory O’More (1837); Songs and Ballads (1858); Treasure Trove (1846).

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Richard Beaton (Lewes, E. Sussex) lists 1] He Would be a Gentleman or Treasure Trove. Being a Romantic Irish Tale of the Last Century (London, Routledge & Sons 1873), hb. Reprint. Illustrations by the author. Original green cloth, blocked in black and gilt; grey endpapers. Although printed by Routledge, the binding is by Chapman & Hall. A historical novel set in 1745: the hero is a follower of the Young Pretender and the action moves between Belgium and Scotland. A heavy volume which will require some additional postage. 2] Handy Andy. A Tale of Irish Life (London, Frederick Lover & Richard Groombridge 18420, 1st Edition; hb., with 24 illustrations by the author. Late 19th c. green leather with brown marbled boards; dark brown title label on spine. One of the most popular Irish novels of the century, which helped to promote stereotyped views of Ireland and the Irish with English readers. The eponymous hero is a bungling and stupid manservant: his errors lead to many comic situations.

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Notes
Rory O’More: The historical Rory (or Roger) O’More, c.1620-52, participated in the Rebellion of 1641 but later tried to make terms with Owen Roe O’Neill and the Marquis of Ormonde. Note also, Rory O’More is the name of the title character - a musician who works a peat bog - in the American-Irish film Smiling Irish Eyes (1929) shown in the Savoy, 7 Feb 1930, which caused riots as being stage-Irish.

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James Joyce held a copy of Poems of Ireland (London: Ward, Lock & Bowden [n.d.]) in his Library in Trieste. (See Richard Ellmann, The Consciousness of James Joyce, Faber, p.117 [Appendix].)

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Epitaph: Marble slab, surmounted by cross, with inscription, ‘In Memory of SAMUEL LOVER,/POET,/PAINTER, NOVELIST, AND COMPOSER,/Who, in the exercise of a genius as distinguished in its versatility as in its power, by his pen and pencil illustrated so happily the characteristics of the Peasantry of his Country, that his name will be ever honourably identified with Ireland. He died July 6 1868, aged 72, in firm faith that having been comforted by the rod and staff of his Heavenly Father in approaching the dark valley of the Shadow of Death, he would be, through the tender mercy of his Saviour, gathered among the flock of the Good Shepherd.’ The latter part of the inscription is taken from his own words in a letter to his friend Rev. E. H. Nelson, rector of Necton, a diocese of Norwich, requesting him to read the burial service at his interment. (See Alexander Lepper, DD, Historical Handbook of St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1891).

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