Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism. First Edition, 1896
Book ID: 43004
Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism. With Portraits. London: Downey, 1896. First Edition. Two Volumes. Pages (1) xii, 266. (2) vii, 248. A very good set in original cloth, gilt titles to spines. John O’Leary was born in Tipperary Town in 1830. In 1847 he enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin where he met Charles Gavin Duffy, James Fintan Lalor and Thomas Francis Meager. After the failure of the 1848 Rising O’Leary was involved in a plot to rescue the leaders from Clonmel Gaol and was himself imprisoned on September 5th, 1849. When Munster rose on September 16th, 1849 O’Leary escaped from prison. Unable to complete his law studies because of his conviction, O’Leary enrolled at Queen’s College, Cork to study medicine in 1850. He travelled to Paris in 1855 where he lived with Kevin Izod O’Doherty, John Martin and the American painter John MacNeill Whistler. O’Leary worked as financial agent for the newly formed IRB in which capacity he travelled frequently between Paris, London, Dublin and New York with funds for the movement. O’Leary was briefly editor of The Irish People in this period. In 1865 O’Leary was arrested in England, tried on Conspiracy charges and sentenced to twenty years penal servitude. He served nine years in English prisons before being sent into exile in Paris in 1874. O’Leary returned to Ireland in 1885 and lived with his sister, the poetess, Ellen O’Leary. Together they became the toast of literary Dublin, including the poet W.B. Yeats who was later to pen the lines: ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, It’s with O’Leary in the grave.’ Along with this his best known work, O’Leary also published ‘Young Ireland: The Old and the New ‘ (1885); ‘How Irishmen should feel’ (1886).
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