Kathleen O’Meara

Life
1839-1888 [pseud. ‘Grace Ramsay’]; b. Dublin; gdg. Barry Edward O’Meara, Napoleon’s physician on St. Helena; went to Paris at a young age with her parents and never returned; wrote biographies, and acted as correspondent for the Tablet; published six novels, A Woman’s Trials (1867), in which the heroine is disowned when she becomes a Catholic; also Iza’s Story (1869); A Salon in the Last Days of the Empire (1873); The Old House in Picardy (1887); The Battle of Connemara (1878); Are You My Wife? (1878); The Old House in Picardy (1887); and Narka the Nihilist (1888), a tale of Russian assassins; freq. contrib. to The Irish Monthly; d. 10 Nov., Paris. ODNB JMC IF DIW SUTH

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Works
A Woman’s Trials (1867); Frederic Ozanum, his Life and Works (Edin 1876), another edn. (1878); Iza, a Story of Life in Russian-Poland (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne 1877); A Heroine of Charity (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne 1878), another ed [1912]; The Battle of Connemara (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne 1878); One of God’s heroines, Mother Mary Teresa Kelly (NY: CTS 1878); Are You My Wife (London: Tinsley 1878); The Bells of the Sanctuary (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne 1879); Henri Perreyve, and his Counsels to the Sick, trans. with biog. sketch (1881); Madame Mohl, her salon and Friends, A Study of the Social Life of Paris (London: R Bentley & Son 1885), another edn. (Boston: Roberts Bros. 1886); Queen by Right Divine, and Other Tales (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne 1885); Thomas Grant, first Bishop of southwark (2nd ed. London: W. H. Allen & Co. 1886); The Old House in Picardy (London: Bentley & son 1888); The Blind Apostle and a Heroine of Charity (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne [1890]); The Venerable Jean-Baptiste Vianney, Curé d’Ars (London 1891); Mabel Stanhope (Philadelphia: Kilner 1907); A Woman’s Trials (London: Hurst & Blackett [n.d.]); QRY, Diana Coryval; A Salon in the Last Days of the Empire; The Life of Frederick Ozanum; Life of Bishop Grant.

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Commentary
James H. Murphy, Catholic Fiction and Social Reality in Ireland, 1873-1922 (Conn: Greenwood Press 1997), Part I: ‘Upper Middle-Class Fiction 1873-1890’: ‘Kathleen O’Meara has succeeded … in writing a Catholic gentry novel, and yet in overcoming its conventional taciturnity and moderation over religion. The Battle of Connemara is an ultramontaine novel that identities an idealised Irish Catholicism as the model of vigorous Catholicism in general.’ (… &c.; p.58.); Note, Murphy identifies reviews in Irish Monthly commenting that her novels were ‘too Catholic in tone and purpose to become popular’ and reproaching her for a version of Irish peasant speech like that in Punch (idem.).

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References
Irish Literature
, ed. Justin McCarthy (Washington: University of America 1904); p.2805-13, b. Dublin, removed v. young to Paris; A Woman’s Trials; Iza’s Story; A Salon in the last Days of the Empire; Mable Stanhope; Diana Coryval; The Old House in Picardy; Pearl; Are You My Wife?; Narka, and other novels; Madam Mohl, her Salon and Her Friends, the most successful biog.; also Life of Frederick Ozanam and Life of Bishop Grant; ‘very beautiful and saintly personality’[JMC].

Ireland in Fiction, ed. Stephen Brown (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists The Battle of Connemara (1878), in which an English lady settles in Connaught with her Irish husband and converts to RC; includes scenes with Soupers.

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Notes
O'Meara claimed relation to Barry O’Mara, Napoleon’s physician.

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