Novelist and biographer, b. in Dublin, 1839; d. in Paris, 10 Nov., 1888; daughter of Dennis O'Meara of Tipperary, and grand-daughter of Barry Edward O'Meara, surgeon in the British navy and medical attendant to Napoleon at St. Helena. When about five years old, she accompanied her parents to Paris, which she made her home. She visited the United States in the early eighties. In 1867 she published, over the pen-name of Grace Ramsey, her first novel, "A Woman's Trials" (London, 1867). This did not meet with success, which came to her only in later life, after hard work. Mindful of her early struggles, she was ever ready with encouragement to young writers. Of her six novels, "Narka, a Story of Russian Life" is probably the best. Great social problems, such as poverty and suffering, are handled in a large-hearted sympathetic way. The problem is stated in an unobtrusive manner and the solution offered in the old yet new method of Christian charity . Throughout them all there runs a wholesome spirit, remarkable for purity of tone and delicacy of feeling.
Her best work, however, is a biography, for which, it has been said, she had a genius. "The Bells of the Sanctuary" (1st, 2nd, and 3rd series) contain a number of delightful sketches of noted Catholic men and women. "Madame Mohl, her Salon, and her Friends, a Study of Social Life in Paris" (London, 1885; another edition, Boston, 1886) present with a nice sense of discrimination a delightful picture of that unique institution, the Parisian Salon, introducing the men and women who were leaders in the social, literary, and political world. "Thomas Grant, First Bishop of Southwark" (London, 1874) besides doing justice to a noble character that was much misunderstood, gives within a brief compass a clear straightforward account of the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in England. "Frederick Ozanam, Professor at the Sorbonne, His Life and Works" (Edinburgh, 1876) is a deeply interesting narrative and is proof of the author's genius for biography. Had she written nothing else, this would entitle her to distinction. No better book can be placed in the hands of a young man to quicken his sympathies and bring out the good that is in him. Her last work "The Venerable Jean Baptiste Vianney, Curé d'Ars" (London, 1891) was not published until after her death. She was Paris correspondent of "The Tablet", and a frequent contributor to American magazines, such as the "Atlantic Monthly" and the "Ave Maria".
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online