Victor O’Donovan Power

Life
?-?1928 [occas. Victor O’D. Power]; b. Rosbercon, Co. Kilkenny; his mother was an O’Donovan of W. Cork and a poet; his father Michael Dwyer [sic] was a well-known nationalist; ed. St Patrick’s College, Carlow; contrib. to papers from aetat. 16; prolific contributor of fiction to Irish Lamp, Irish Emerald, Irish Fireside, Shamrock, Weekly Freeman, Catholic Times, Donohoe’s Magazine, Ireland’s Own and Our Boys, in both of which his stories were constantly reprinted; his “Kitty the Hare” series still reprinted in the early 1980s; broadly comic and melodramatic plays include David Mahoney (Abbey 1914); his plays were produced by travelling companies and, in the 1920s, by his own company; published novels, A Secret of the Past (1893), and The Footsteps of Fate [1930]; and a one-act play, Flurry to the Rescue (1918). DIL IF.

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Works
Fiction
, A Secret of the Past (London: Ward & Downey 1893), and Bonnie Dunraven: A Story of Kilcarrick, 2 vols. (London: Remington 1881), 589pp.; The Heir of Liscarragh (Leamington: Art & Book Co. 1892); Tracked (Dublin: Ireland’s Own Library 1914), paper covers; The Footsteps of Fate (Dublin: Ireland’s Own [1930]).

Drama, Flurry to the Rescue (Dublin: Duffy 1918).

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References
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), notes that he contrib. to The Lamp, The Irish Emerald, Irish Fireside, Shamrock, Weekly Freeman, Ireland’s Own, Catholic Times, Donohoe’s Magazine (USA); Cork Examiner, in some of which which he also wrote fiction serials. IF lists Bonnie Dunraven, A Story of Kilcarrick, 2 vols. (London: Remington 1881), 589pp.; The Heir of Liscarragh (Leamington: Art & Book Co. 1892) [romantic and tragic story of love and mystery; scenery of W. Cork; formerly serial in Catholic Times]; Tracked (Dublin: Ireland’s Own Library 1914), pb. [wholesome tale of unrequited love and jealousy set in Donegal]; many successful plays performed by his own company [Brown].

British Library holds When the Cat’s away the Mice can play … and Dinny Donoghue’s Damsel [&c.] [Two farces.] (Dublin: J. Duffy & Co. [1927.]), 36pp..

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Notes
There is a glancing reference under in Hickey and Doherty, eds., Dictionary of Irish History (1979) under ‘Ireland’s Own’.

Benedict Kiely writes, ‘I once saw a one volume of the plays of Synge that had belonged to Victor O’Donovan Power, the creator of Kitty the Hare. The owen of the boko had scarled on the margins of the pages quite ferocious comments on what he called the Stage Irishness of Synge. It all depends, I suppose, on one’s point of view.’ (‘dialect and Literature’, in A Raid into Dark Corners and Other Essays, Cork UP 1999, p.239.)

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