Jane Barlow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jane Barlow
Jane Barlow.JPG
BornJane Barlow
17 October 1856
Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland
Died17 April 1917[1]
Bray, County Wicklow
Jane Barlow

Jane Barlow (17 October 1856 – 17 April 1917) was an Irish writer, noted for her novels and poems describing the lives of the Irish peasantry, chiefly about Lisconnel and Ballyhoy, in relation to both landlords and the Irish potato famine.


Barlow was the third child and eldest daughter of Rev. James William Barlow, vice-provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Born in Dollymount, Clontarf, County Dublin, she spent most of her life living in Raheny, a suburb of Dublin, in the house in the townland of Ballyhoy which then was called "The Cottage": The house was known by various names over the years, as 'Ballyhoy', 'The Cottage' and 'Raheny House'. Built in the 18th century originally with a thatched roof, another wing was added in the 1840s. [...] In 1986, it became the Garda Siochána Retirement Home and the original house was incorporated into the new additions.[2][3][1] She was educated by the family's governess and her father. She became proficient in French and German, and was a talented classical scholar and an accomplished pianist. She travelled much throughout Ireland, and in her twenties visited Italy, France, Greece, and Turkey.[4] When the University of Dublin first began to grant degrees to women, Barlow was one of the first "to receive the highest honorary distinction that ancient seat of learning could bestow", that is, a D.Litt.[5]

"Miss Barlow" had great success with the collection of stories Irish idylls (1892). Running into nine editions, it was read in France, Germany, Britain and America. She received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Dublin and was a contributor to the National Literary Society in Dublin. She was friends with Katharine Tynan and Sarah Purser, who painted her portrait in 1894.[4]

After the death of her father in 1913 she and her siblings moved to Bray, County Wicklow. By this time she was suffering from poor health and low spirits, but she continued with her writing. She died in Bray, County Wicklow, on 17 April 1917. In its glowing obituary (18 April, 1917) The Irish Times reported nothing of her health, nor a cause of death.[1]

Barlow was a member of the Society for Psychical Research for more than 25 years.[5] Shortly before her death, she was elected to its Committee of Reference and Publication.[6]


Barlow published under her own name and under the pseudonym Felix Ryark. She co-wrote with her father under the pseudonym Antares Skorpios.[7] Barlow's novel and poetry collections include:

  • History of the World of Immortals Without a God (1891), as Antares Skorpios[8]
  • Bog-land Studies (1892)
  • Irish Idylls (1892) – went into nine editions
  • The End of Elfintown (Macmillan, 1894) – fairy poetry illustrated by Laurence Housman, LCCN 02-6329
  • Kerrigan's Quality (1894)
  • ‘’The Battle of the Frogs and Mice’’ (1894) — illustrations by Francis Bedford
  • ‘’Strangers at Lisconnell, a Second Series of Irish Idylls’’ (1895)
  • A Creel of Irish Stories (1897)
  • From the East unto the West (1898)
  • From the Land of the Shamrock (1900)
  • Ghost-Bereft (1901)
  • The Founding of Fortunes (1902)
  • By Beach and Bog Land (1905)
  • Irish Neighbours (1907)
  • The Mockers and Other Verses (1908)
  • A Strange Land (Hutchinson, 1908), as Felix Ryark – a "lost race" tale[9]
  • Irish Ways (1909)
  • Doings and Dealings (1913)
  • Between Doubting and Daring (1916)
  • ’’In Mio’s Youth’’ (1917)


  1. ^ a b c "Death of Miss Jane Barlow". The Irish Times. 18 April 1917. Page 2.
  2. ^ Notification of the North Central Area Committee Dublin, February 2013, page 18.
  3. ^ Boylan, Henry (1998). A Dictionary of Irish Biography, 3rd Edition. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan. p. 12. ISBN 0-7171-2945-4.
  4. ^ a b Dictionary of Irish Biography
  5. ^ a b "Obituary. Miss Jane Barlow, D.Litt". Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 18, no. 337: 49. 1917.
  6. ^ "Meetings of the Council". Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 18, no. 335: 12. 1917.
  7. ^ Fennell, Jack (2018). A Brilliant Void: A Selection of Classic Irish Science Fiction. Tramp Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-9997008-5-0.
  8. ^ Fennell, Jack (2018). A Brilliant Void: A Selection of Classic Irish Science Fiction. Tramp Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-9997008-5-0.
  9. ^ o’s YouthThe Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

External links[edit]