Elizabeth Hely Walshe


Life
?1835-1869; b. Limerick; wrote for The Leisure Hour and published with Religious Text Society; her earliest novel, Cedar Creek: From the Shanty to the Settlement (1863 or 1864), is considered part of Canadian literature; also issued The Foster-Brothers of Doon: A Tale of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 (1890), and Golden Hills (1865), a tale of Famine days focussing on the philanthropy of a landlord family and impugning agrarian violence.

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Works
  • [anon.,] Cedar Creek: From the Shanty to the Settlement; a Tale of Canadian Life [by the author of Golden Hills: A Tale of the Irish Famine, The Foster Brothers of Doon, &c. (London: The Religious Tract Society [1863 or 1864]), 383pp. [var. 296pp., 16°; see details], ill. by Sir John Gilbert [15 pls.]; Do. [rep edns.] (London: RTS 1864, 1888), 383pp.; another edn. (1902);
  • From Golden Hills: A Tale of the Irish Famine, by the author of Cedar Creek (London: Religious Tract Society 1865), viii, 272pp. [pref. dated Limerick, 1865]; Golden hills: A Tale of the Irish Famine. [1865]; and Do., reiss. as Kingston’s Revenge: a Story of Bravery (London: RTS [1917]), ill. by J. Finnemore.
  • The Manuscript Man: or, The Bible in Ireland (London; RTS [Paternoster Row, St Paul’s Churchyard, & Picadilly 1869), 226, [14]pp. [dated from copyright stamp; 14cm.], ill.; Do. (1889), 8°, ill. [4 pls.]
  • [anon.,] The Foster-Brothers of Doon; A Tale of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, by the author of Golden Hills, a Tale of the Irish Famine, &c. [rep. from Leisure Hour] (RTS [1866]), 8°; Do. (London: RTS 1888), 382pp. [printed for by Edinburgh: Morrison and Gibb; colophon]; [another edn.] (1907), 382pp., 21cm.; and Do. (RTS [1890]), 382pp..
*available on Canadian microfiche; attrib. to Walshe in R. E. Watters, Checklist of Canadian Literature.
Other titles (COPAC listed)
  • Jessie Gordon: or, a Sunday Scholar’s Influence [by the author of Cedar creek, and The Pride of the Latymers, &c.] (London: James Clarke [189-?], vi, 214pp. [19 cm.];
    From Dawn to Dark in Italy: A Tale [1929, 1930], ill. [with pls.]
  • Under the Inquisition: A Story of the Reformation in Italy (London: RTS [1904]), 348pp., ill [7 pls. by Alfred Pearse].
  • with by G[eorge] E[tell] Sargent, Within Sea Walls; or, How the Dutch Kept the Faith (RTS 1880, 1888, [1903]).

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Bibliographical details
Cedar Creek: From The Shanty to The Settlement - A Tale Of Canadian Life, by the author of Golden Hills: A Tale of The Irish Famine, The Foster-Brothers of Doon, &c. / London: The Religious Tract Society, 56 Paternoster Row, 65 St. Paul’s Churchyard, and 164 Piccadilly; [printed by] Morrison and Gibb, Edinburgh, Printers to her Majesty’s Stationery Office. CONTENTS: I: Why Robert Wynn Emigrated, 7 [see extract]; II: Crossing The ‘Ferry,’ 22 III: Up the st: Lawrence, 35; IV: Wooden-Ness, 44; V: Debarkation, 52; VI: Concerning An Incubus, 63; VII: The River Highway, 70; VIII: ‘Jean Baptiste’ At Home, 78; IX: ‘From Mud To Marble,’ 86; X: Corduroy, 96; XI: The Battle With The Wilderness Begins, 105; XII: Camping In The Bush, 115; XIII: The Yankee Storekeeper, 123; XIV: The ‘Corner,’ 133; XV: Andy Trees A ‘Baste,’ 138; XVI: Lost In The Woods, 145; XVII: Back To Cedar Creek, 154; XVIII: Giant Two-Shoes, 166; XIX: A Medley, 171; XX: The Ice-Sledge, 180; XXI: The Forest-Man, 186; XXII: Silver Sleigh-Bells, 196; XXIII: Still-Hunting, 202; XXIV: Lumberers, 214; XXV: Children Of The Forest, 220; XXVI: On A Sweet Subject, 229; XXVII: A Busy Bee, 235; XXVIII: Old Faces Upon New Neighbours, 244; XXI; X: One Day In July, 250; XX; X: Visitors And Visited, 259; XX; XI: Sunday In The Forest, 260; XX; XII: How The Captain Cleared His Bush, 274; XX; XIII: The Forest On Fire, 280; XX; XIV: Triton Among Minnows, 291; XX; XV: The Pink Mist, 298; XX; XVI: Below Zero, 309; XX; XVII: A Cut, And Its Consequences, 315; XX; XVIII: Jack-Of-All-Trades, 324; XX; XI; X: Settler The Second, 329; XL: An Unwelcome Suitor, 338; XLI: The Mill-Privilege, 343; XLII: Under The Northern Lights, 351; XLIII: A Bush-Flitting, 359; XLIV: Shoving Of The Ice, 370; XLV: Exeunt Omnes, 378. Ill.: And helps the Indian squaw to construct the wigwam, p.225.

[Note: The text of Cedar Creek [1864] and no other of her works is available at the Gutenberg Project [online; accessed 10:06:2010.]

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Criticism
Margaret Kelleher, ‘Irish Famine in Literature’, in The Great Irish Famine, ed. Cáthal Portéir [Thomas Davis Lectures Series] (RTÉ/Mercier 1995), p.234f. [Kelleher comments on Golden Hills (1865), which condemns agrarian assassinations by ‘lawless Riband tribunal’ (p.6)].

See also brief reference in Kelleher, ‘Prose Writing and Drama in English; 1830-1890 […]’, Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. Kelleher & Philip O’Leary (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. 1 [Chap. 11], p.466 [includes the bio-dates 1835-68].

Miriam Burnstein, ‘The Manuscript Man’, at Little Professor - online [dated 21 May 2008; accessed 10.06.2010]. The article offers an analysis of the anti-Catholic topoi of that novel of 1869; see extract, or copy [attached].

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Commentary
Miriam Burnstein, ‘The Manuscript Man’, at Little Professor website (21 May 2010): ‘The novel [The Manuscript Man (1869)] begins with the return of a long-absent Irishman, Major Bryan, to the estate which he has inherited from his deceased brother.  Although the evangelical Bryan's arrival sets the plot in motion, he isn't the main character; that would be Donat Clare, the “Manuscript Man”, one of the only literate peasants in the area.  Bryan introduces Clare to an Irish translation of the New Testament and asks him to teach the other locals how to read.  As Bryan intends, literacy quickly becomes tied to Protestant evangelization, much to the aggravation of the Nasty Young Priest, Father Devenish, and the moderate disquiet of the Nice Old Priest, Father Eusebius.  Father Devenish and his parishioners harass Clare and those of his students, like the fisherman Pat Colman, who refuse to disavow their Bible-reading; the harassment quickly escalates into property destruction, stone-throwing, curses, and beatings.  Meanwhile, matters are somewhat complicated by the reappearance of Clare’s long-lost brother, Redmond, one of the Ribbonmen, who may or may not have been responsible for the murder of Bryan’s father.  Depending on how you look at it, Bryan’s success in spreading the Protestant Word is a trifle equivocal, since the novel’s main converts all wind up decamping to the United States.’ (Available online - accessed 10.06.2010; see copy attached.)

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Quotations
Cedar Creek (1863 or 1864) - Chap. 1: “Why Robert Wynn Emigrated”: ‘[…] Home to the Irish village where his ancestors had long been lords of the soil; and the peasantry had deemed that the greatest power on earth, under majesty itself, was his Honour Mr. Wynn of Dunore, where now, fallen from greatness, the family was considerably larger than the means. The heavily encumbered property had dropped away piece by piece, and the scant residue clung to its owner like shackles. With difficulty the narrow exchequer had raised cash enough to send Robert on this expedition to London, from which much was hoped. The young man had been tolerably well educated; he possessed a certain amount and quality of talent, extolled by partial friends as far above the average; but the mainstay of his anticipations was a promise of a Civil Service appointment, obtained from an influential quarter; and his unsophisticated country relatives believed he had only to present himself in order to realize it at once.’ (Captured from the Gutenberg Project [online; accessed 10:06:2010.]

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References
Chris Morash, The Hungry Voice (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1989), calls her a novelist of the Famine of 1845 and quotes: ‘In 1850 the horizon was clearing. The lessening agricultural population had more elbow room … overgrown estates, encumbered with heavy charges, were broken into a variety of smaller properties, freed from burden, passing from effete hands of the old possessors into the vigorous hands of men from the middle class.’ (From Golden Hills, London: Religious Tract Society, 1865, p.266; Morash, p.18.)

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Notes
George Etell Sargent: Sargent (1830-1883), who collaborated on [or completed] work by E. H. Walshe was the author of numerous ‘thinking stories for boys and girls’ of which COPAC lists 50+ titles. Having beggun as a lay preacher in rural Oxfordshire villages whose sermons came were published by the Religious Tract Society (Paternoster Row, &c.), he contributed to The Leisure Hour and Sunday at Home from their dates of foundation, respectively in 1852 and 1854. His mother-in-law was the evangelist story-writers Esther Copley [The Australian Literature Resource - online; accessed 10.06.2010]. Other relatives were involved in abolitionism and homeopathy in America. (See Su YToung Homeopathy pages online; accessed 10.06.2010.)

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