Louisiana Murphy

Life
?-? [née Keenan]; b. Dublin; dg. Hugh Keenan, from Ulster, who became American consul to Dublin and Cork; m. an excise officer in Dublin and wrote under her married name; anthologised in John Boyle O’Reilly, Poetry and Song of Ireland (NY 1887), with biog. sketches. PI

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Works
Dunmore, the Days of the Land League: Irish Dramatic Episode of Our Own Time (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1888); Centenary Eode, Father Mathew, Oct. 10 1890 (Dublin 1890); Poems of Old and New Ireland (Dublin: Talbot; London: Simpkin 1925); also The Epic of Lourdes [q.d.].

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Notes
Grand Old Man: There is a presentation copy of her novel Dunmore, or The Days of the Land League: An Irish Dramatic Episode of Our Own Times (Dublin M H Gill & Sons 1888) in the library of W. H. Gladstone. The ‘Argument’ of this three act musical drama includes a scene involving the Ladies Land League meeting at the ‘Four Leaved Shamrock’. Lord Absentee, Lady Clutch, the ill-favoured bailiff, Miss Kathleen Blunt, President of the Ladies’ Land League and her aunt Widow O’Donoghue at war with the her on this account. ‘Lord Absentee, a profligate who attempts to bring about an unlawful passion with Sheelah Kavanagh, a tenant’s daughter, ‘stands revealed as a tyrant, grinding down a starving peasantry’ (Act. II); Kathleen is arrested for words spoken about Absentee and reported by Widow O’Donoghue; Lord Absentee has ‘carried eviction and oppression to such lengths that he finds he must fly the country’; Absentee plans to have Morris, his agent who is in love with Kathleen, though rejected by her, assassinated ‘for reasons which will be presently seen’. Morris now reveals himself to be the only child of Con O’More (the rightful heir who had died in Australia), having come in disguise to see the condition of the peasants under Absentee; the prisoners are released and news of the Land Bill is announced, the Ladies singing ‘The League’s Refrain’ in chorus. O’More is accepted by Kathleen for ‘having nobly befriended the tenantry’ though she ‘still ignores his rank’. The Widow’s shows discomfiture on finding that her niece has ‘won a title may be imagined’. She herself accepts ‘the urbane Cassidy’; ‘the spurious lord and his abettors are hunted from the place, a new era of peace and prosperity is inaugurated, and the little drama fitly concludes with the stirring refrain which had so often cheered the Lady Land Leaguers in the dark days when their most untiring efforts were inadequate to cope with the miseries which marked the progress of the ruthless twin-fiends - Eviction and Coercion.’ [Photocopy supplied by Dr. Anne McCartney, May 1998.]

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