John Roddan

Life
fl. 1850; Catholic Irish-American novelist.

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Commentary
Maureen Murphy, ‘The Irish Servant Girl in Literature’, in Writing Ulster, No. 5 (1998), pp.133-47, quotes: ‘excellent specimen of the Boston Irish Catholic young mwne who do the work in families or otherwise labor hard for their bread. They have done more for the interests of religion in Boston, taking their means into consideration[,] than all other classes put together. They have built St. Mary’s church; they have built every church in Boston. The charity of [141] the Boston Catholics is proverbial. Ot be sure, in ages of faith, it would not be regarded as extraordinary, but in these times, it deserves great credit. And these girls have done more than their share of the good work which has given such a name to Catholic Boston. No one has ever called upon them in vain. they will often give more than they can afford and their generous hears make theym feel half disposed to apologize for giving so little. And, in truth, a girl of this class often gives actaully more to pious purposes than some men who are not poor. She thinks she can afford a dollar. He thinks it’s hard times and give fifty cents. The Catholic young woman needs no monuments; their monument is a church in every quarter of the city.’ (from John O’Brien or the Orphan of Boston, Boston: Donahoe, 1850, p.206; here pp.141-42.)

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