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W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival, Its History, Pioneers and Possibilities, 1894) reports that Michael MacDonagh lectures on Irish Graves in England; John T. Kelly writes to appeal that something be done for the grave of John Francis ODonnell at Kensal Green, resulting also in the publication of his Poems , issued at Christmas 1890, a volume which stand unquestionable as one of the most creditable additions made to Irish literature in the latter half of our century.  This event prompted Gavan Duffy to write from Villa Marguerite, Nice, saying, I have often thought of forming a small Limited Liability Company for this purpose [of publishing the verse and prose of men and women who have helped the national cause for the last generation] (Ryan, op. cit., pp.32-33.)
W. B. Yeats (Hopes and Fears for Irish Literature, 1892): There is a printed letter of John Francis ODonnells, in which he claims to have written I know not how many columns of verse and prose in two or three days. Yet he who would write a memorable song must be ready to give often days to a few lines, and be ready, perhaps, to pay for it afterwards with certain other days of dire exhaustion and depression.. We produce good correspondence, good journalists, and good talkers, and few profound and solitary students. (United Ireland, 15 Oct. 1892; rep. in Uncollected Prose, ed. John Frayne, London 1970; also in Mark Story, Poetry and Ireland Since 1800: A Source Book, 1988 - where Story adds: Yeats reviewed [ODonnell] unfavourably in the Boston Pilot in April 1891 (Letters to the New Island, New York 1934; Story, op. cit., pp.76-77.)
A. N. Jeffares, Anglo-Irish Literature (London: Macmillan 1982): J. F. ODonnell wrote with too great facility; in his work the effect of Tennyson produced some glibness, though his capacity for close obsevation can be rewarding, Soft sleeps the village in the maze / Of dreamy elm and sycamore / Soft slides the rivers rosy tide ... The little boat moored in the cove / Takes no pulsation from the stream / But shadowed on the water lies / The lovely image of a dream. (Anglo-Irish Literature, 1982, p.137).
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Where?: She lingered here, and then / Passed ... through yonder door..// Down the long passages, I heard her feet / Moving -a crepitating music slow / And next her voice, an echo exquisite ..// ..// .. Return, sweet wife, / And with they presence sanctify this pain; / Cling to my side, Ó faithful help of life! / Lest, in the hour when night is on the wane / The destinies divide us two again]. (Quoted in McCarthy, op. cit., 1904; as infra.)
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John Cooke, ed., Dublin Book of Irish Verse 1728-1909 (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis 1909); 1837-1874; A Spinning Song (My love to fight the Saxon goes, / And bravely shines his sword of steel ... My love is pledged to Irelands fight; / My love would die for Irelands weal, / To win her back er ancient right, / And make her foemen reel. / Oh, close Ill clapse him to my breast / When homeward from the war he comes ..). See also Geoffrey Taylor, ed., Irish Poets of the 19th century (1951).
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), gives bio-details: d. aged 35; Memoiries of the Irish Franciscans, verse; wrote for many magazines; further, I am informed that he published novels entitled Evictions and Evicted [recte Agents and Evictions], and Sadleir the Banker, but I have not been able to trace them further. He does however list the contents of Emerald Wreath, A Fireside Treasury of Legends, Stories &c (Duffy 1865), frontis. in colour and num. engravings by Bros. Dalziel, contains two poems and the following stories:Sybil Greys Secret; Benevolent Freak of an Old Gentleman; The Double Shadow; Tom Hickey and the Good People; Mike ODriscoll and the Fairies, the last two humorous in the dial. of Adare and Castleconnell.
Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978), incl. bibl., Matthew Russell, The John Francis ODonnell Memorial, Irish Monthly 16 (188), p.690-99, based on an article by Michael MacDonagh rep. as Irish Graves in England (1888); the Southwark Literary Society founded a J. F. ODonnell Memorial Committee, which publ. his collected Poems in 1891, with an introduction by Richard Dowling.
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2; selects from Poems The Return, Drifting, My Jack, A July Dawn, Reminiscence of a Day, An Interview [And youve just come from Ireland; thats your plear / For all those sickening substances of though / Steeped in your brain, a jelly-fish at sea / Or with the limpets blue in rock-craft caught, / You left us when you brain was overwrought / By the slow precesses of decimals / And piling on interminable nought / Souls rises, but sense wavers, staggers, falls, // Down to a wholly terminable degree / Well, not of meanneass; for, I like you yet, / Spite of your office and your pageantry / And your poor goose-quill, never dry, never wet, / What quill which time, experience, will not whet, / But go on jargoning from base to top / Let who will be waiting on wholl let / With here and there the dumb official stop., Happy Christmases, By the Turnstile, To Spring [67-75]; 114, BIOG, and notes: ODonnell finally got an official appointment with a steady salary after twenty-five years of punishing hackwork for more than a dozen journals and newspapers; but in four months he was dead, aged thirty-seven, 2-3; J. F. ODonnell kept [the political and picturesque elements prevailing in Irish poetry at the time] separate in a manner that is a telling comment ont he divions of labour which the Irish poet, split between two audiences, was condemned. [Deane, ed.], 8. Note the comparatively large selection of J. F. ODonnell [FDA 67-75], who represents to Deane the predicament of the Irish poet with two audiences, an Irish politicised and an English one, as indicated in the section preface (p.8). The biography is correspondingly long , though no commentary is cited.
British Library holds only Poems, ed. Richard Dowling (London: Ward & Downey 1891 ), xii, 256pp.
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