Francis Hackett

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Francis Hackett, 1935

Francis Hackett (21 January 1883 – 25 April 1962). He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland to the daughter of a farmer and a medical officer. He is most famous for writing a detailed book about Henry VIII but was also a noted critic and published several other books most of which were either non-fiction or biographies.

He was educated in St Kieran's College, where Thomas MacDonagh was his teacher.

He married the Danish writer Signe Toksvig, and the couple lived in Ireland in the early years of the State, and then moved to Denmark, to the US during World War II, and back to Denmark.

"Hackett immigrated to the United States in 1901 for various reasons, among them being his dissatisfaction with the British Government ruling Ireland, and his family’s inability to finance his college education. When he arrived in New York he published articles in Standish O’Grady’s All Ireland Review, Arthur Griffith’s United Irishman, and Samuel Richardson’s The Gael. Hackett took a series of jobs as a clerk in a law firm, for the advertising department of Cosmopolitan Magazine, and literary editor of various periodicals, such as the Chicago Evening Post. In 1906 Hackett moved into Hull-House and taught English to Russian Immigrants. As writer and critic, Hackett attacked Chicago’s genteel and commercial cultures, racism, and the subordination of women. He left his position as literary editor of the Post in 1911 to pursue a career as a novelist." (

Hackett died onn 25 April 1962.


  • Hackett, Francis (24 Jul 1915). "As an alien feels". The New Republic: 106. 
  • — (1929). Personal history of Henry the Eighth. London: Jonathan Cape. 
  • — (1934). Francis the First. London: Heinemann. 
  • — (1939). Queen Anne Boleyn : a novel. London: Nicholson & Watson. 
  • The Green Lion;
  • Horizons: A Book Of Criticism;
  • I Chose Denmark (Doubleday Doran & Co, New York, 1940)
  • The Story of the Irish Nation
  • That Nice Young Couple
  • The Invisible Censor
  • Ireland: A Study in Nationalism
  • What Mein Kampf means to America (Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1941)
  • — (1970). American rainbow : early reminiscences. New York: Liveright. 

Critical studies, reviews and biography of Hackett[edit]

  • Delahanty, James (Summer 1962). "The Green Lion : in memoriam Francis Hackett". Kilkenny Magazine. 7: 49–53. 

External links[edit]