1874-1948 [Conal Holmes OConnell ORiordan; pseud. F. Norreys Connell]; b. 29 April, Dublin, son of QC; ed. Clongowes Wood and Belvedere; intended a military career until he suffered a spinal injury in fall from horse; The House of the Strange Woman (1895), love and marriage, sardonic and jejune; issued The Fool and His Heart (1896), containing satire of fin de siècle, to some extent autobiographical; played in J. T. Greins Independent Theatre production of Ibsens Ghosts; [opening as the first production, 13 Mar. 1891]; played Bill in Lord Dunsanys The Glittering Gates, opp. Fred ODonovan; chosen by Yeats and Lady Gregory on death of Synge to replace him on Abbey board; appt. manager of Abbey, 1907; revived Playboy;
wrote The Piper (Abbey, 13 Feb. 1908), a play that was the object of first night protests and was excused by Yeats as a patriotic allegory (though from the start he thought it to be grotesque and pretty dangerous); resigned from Board on receipt of an incomprehensible letter from Miss Horniman demanding an apology for failing to restraint Miss [Sally] Allgood from reciting at a supposedly political meeting, July 1908 - actually a gatherng with sufffrage focus at the home of Mrs. Edith Lyttleton; served in World War I with the YMCA; wrote breezy comedies, Napoleons Josephine (London, Fortune Theatre, 1928); settled in London; issued series of 12 novels tracing fortunes of connected Irish families from Napoleonic wars to about 1920; In the Green Park, or The Half-Pay Deities (1894), fancifully connected short stories; also The Pity of War (1906), a Kiplingesque stories of courage in less worthy cause;
issued the Soldier series, Soldier Born (London: Collins 1927), opening in the Dublin of Castlereagh and Toler, and moving to Regency London; Soldier of Waterloo , Soldiers Wife (1935), Soldiers End (1938), unfacetious relative of Flashman novels, the hero David Quinn compares with Henry Esmond, becomes involves with Princess Charlotte, Dan OConnell, Great Famine, American Civil War and Abe Lincoln, before dying in the Franco-Prussian war; also issued the Adam series, Adam of Dublin (1920); Adam and Caroline (1921); In London: The Story of Adam and Marriage (1922); Rowena Barnes (1923); Married Life (1924); The Age of Miracles (1925); Young Lady Drazincourt (1925); also Judith Quinn, a Novel for Women (1939); Judiths Love (1940)d. 18 June, 1948. DIW PI DIB DIL KUN IF IF2 JMC OCIL
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|Prose & Drama
- In the Green Park, or The Half-Pay Deities (London: Henry 1894);
- The House of the Strange Woman (London: Henry 1895);
- The Fool and His Heart (London: Leonard Smithers 1896);
- How Soldiers Fight (London: James Bowden 1899);
- The Nigger Knights (London: Methuen 1900);
- The Follies of Captain Daly (London: Grant Richards 1901);
- The Pity of War (London: Henry J. Glaisher 1906), stories;
- The Young Days of Admiral Quilliam (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood 1906);
- Adam of Dublin (London: Collins );
- Adam and Caroline (London: Collins ;
- In London: The Story of Adam and Marriage (London: Collins );
- Rowena Barnes (London: Collins );
- Married Life (London: Collins );
- The Age of Miracles (London: Collins );
- The Kings Wooing (London & Glasgow: Gowan & Gray 1929), 1-act play;
- Napoleon Passes (London: Arrowsmith 1933), history;
- Captain Falstaff and Other Plays ([London:] Arrowsmith 1935);
- Young Lady Drazincourt (Collins );
- Soldier Born (London: Collins 1927),
- Soldier of Waterloo (London: Collins ;
- Soldiers Wife (London: Arrowsmith 1935), Soldiers End ([q. pub.] 1938);
- Judith Quinn: A Novel for Women (Bristol Arrowsmith 1939);
- Judiths Love (Bristol: Arrowsmith 1940).
- The Piper (Abbey Th., 13 Feb. 1908);
- Shakespeares End and Other Irish Plays (London: Stephen Swift 1912);
- Rope Enough (Dublin & London: Maunsel 1914), play;
- His Majestys Pleasure, A Romantic Comedy in Three Acts (London: Ernest Benn 1925) (x), 11-121pp.;
Note - Shakepeares End was read by him before the Irish Literary Soc., as reported in Irish Book Lover; reprinted with other works in Conal ORiordan Special, in Journal of Irish Literature [ed. Robert Hogan], XIV, No. 3., Sept. 1985 [contains The Piper, and Shakespeares End].
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Judith ORiordan, ed., Conal ORiordan Special Number, Journal of Irish Literature, Vol. XIV No. 3 (Sept 1985), which includes The Piper, Shakespeares End, plays, and My Friend Yoshiama, prose; contains also a horoscope of Conal ORiordan by WB Yeats]; Diane Tolomeo, in Modern Fiction in Recent Research on Anglo-Irish Writers, ed. James K. Kilroy (MLA 1983); James Cahalan, Irish Novel (1983); Irish Book Lover, 3, 16, p.26; review of Shakespeares End and Other Irish Plays (1912) in Irish Book Lover, 3 (April 1912), p.150; review of Soldier Born by J. S. Crone in Irish Book Lover (Jan-Feb. 1928), p.3; also Shakepeares End read by him before the Irish Literary Soc., reported in Irish Book Lover [see index].
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Sundry quotations: [the young author:] I am an Irishman living in London ... [with] no settled convictions as to the government of my country, bimetallism, or the interior economy of penny-in-the-slot machines. (Preface to Green Park.) I wish I had not been educated a Christian. It impresses one so horribly with ones own importance (The House of the Strange Woman, 1895).
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Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919) cites brilliant novelist, In the Green Park (1894), The House of the Strange Women (1895), The Fool and His Heart (1896); also Shakespeares End and Other Irish Plays (1912)
Desmond Clarke, Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore [Pt. 2] (Cork: Royal Carbery 1985), lists Adam of Dublin (1920) [1900-1913, mild and sensitive artistic boy, with contemp. celebrites; embittered about Belvedere and Clongowes; suffering of Dublin poor]; Adam and Caroline (1921) [sexual adolescence and adventures, love affair with Caroline Brady]; In London (1922) [cont. prev., goes to London, drifts on stage], 1914-18]; Married Life (1924) [cont., marriage to Barbara Burns, a heartless beauty, Irish friends reappear, glimpses of Black and Tans in Ireland; return [to Dublin] with his crippled little son David and his staunch friend Stephen MacCarthy]; Soldier Born: A Story of Youth (1927) [1797 onwards, David Quinn, son of Quaker bankers daughter and irreligious Irish Captain, a Union baronet; Mallow; ancestral home Derryvoe, Muskerry; grandparents under penal laws; ed. Westminster Sch., and schooldays]; Soldier of Waterloo (1928) [cont.; heros face horribly mutilated at Waterloo, and caused to wear mask for rest of his life]; Soldiers Wife (1935) [further adventures; rackety racy shabby genteel Irish family; OConnell appears]; Solders End (1938) [returns in middle age to Dublin during Famine years; good intentions thwarted by rascal brother, Bonaventure; returns to London, meets Mazzin[i] at public execution, also Earl of Shaftesbury]; Judith Quinn (1939) [Victorian Dubln; Judith dg. of a man shot by military commanded by his brother; grd-dg. Sir David Byron Quinn; approaches to marriage, foiled; marries beneath her Dinny Muldoon, whom she doesnt love]; Judiths Love (1940) [Mrs Muldoon; her love concentrated on her son; more analysis than plot; Catholic religion a compound of superstition and hypocrisy].
D. J. ODonoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); entry under ORiordan, Conal Holmes OConnell; b. Dublin about 1874; 3 of his shorter plays produced by Abbey.
Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904) gives an extract from The Fool and His Heart.
Patricia Boylan, All Cultivated People (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1988), pp.21-22, &c.: Yeats to the fore in defending the Abbey production of Riordans The Piper, in January [sic] 1908; ORiordan, then living in London, joined the Arts Club 24 Jan.; invited by Yeats and Lady Gregory to join Abbey directorate, but rebelled against Miss Hornimans interference in a few months. Boylan quotes Robert Hogans view that ORiordans cycle of novels, its scope so vast, and its virtues so many ... must establish [him] as one of the major Irish writers of his day. The Duncans feature as the Burns family in Adam of Dublin, and his Club of the Six Muses appears to be the Arts Club. [Other references identifying models for his characters.]
W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival (London: Pater Noster Row 1894) cites F Norreys Connell, pseud. of Conal Holmes OConnell ORiordan, contributor to Westminister Review and The Stage, and suggested the name The Speaker for the Liberal magazine; played Jacvob Engshand in Ibsens Ghosts for the Independent Theatre; In the Green Park, Half-Pay Deities, and engaged on a novel; a merry wit and much power of satire and humour .
Peter Costello, Clongowes Wood (1991), Conal ORiordan ed. Belvedere 4 yrs, then Clongowes at 13; memoir of Clongowes quoted from Journal of Irish Literature, ed. Robert Hogan, Vol. XIV (Sept. 1985).
Belfast Public Library holds Adam and Caroline (1921); Adam of Dublin (1920); Age of Miracles (1925); In London (1922); Married Life (1924); Napoleon Passes (1933); Rope Enough (1914); Shakespeares End and other Irish Plays (1912); Soldier of Waterloo (1928); Soldiers Wife (1935); Soldiers End (1938); Young Lady Dazincourt (1926).
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A. E. Malone, The Irish Drama (London 1929), writes that The Piper includes as central character Black Mike who has some very unpalatable things to say about the Irish character. The play is rather obvious satire upon Irish political tactics of the then recent past [
] (p.104; cited in Vivian Mercier, Irish Literary Revival, in W. E. Vaughan, ed., A New History of Ireland: Ireland under the Union II, 1870-1921 [Chap. XIII], Vol. VI, Clarendon Press 1996, p.373.)
Cornelius Weygandt, Irish Plays and Playwrights (1913, rpt. 1979), summarises The Piper (Abbey, 13 Feb. 1908).
The letter: His letter of resignation to Yeats is reprinted in Adrian Frazier, Behind the Scenes: Yeats, Horniman, and the Struggle for the Abbey Theatre (Berkeley: California UP 1990), p.225 [dated 2 July 1908 in text but 2 July 1909 in ftn.]
Augustine Birrell, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, was deceived by the satirical burden of The Piper into supposing that no revolutionary action could be mounted in Dublin; see under Birrell, Rx.
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