John Augustus O'Shea

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John Augustus O'Shea
Born 24 June 1839
Nenagh, Ireland
Died 13 March 1905
London, England
Other names "the Irish bohemian"
Occupation Soldier, journalist, author
Known for War correspondent

John Augustus O'Shea (24 June 1839 – 13 March 1905)[1] was an Irish soldier, journalist and novelist.


Born at Nenagh, Ireland,[2] the son of journalist John O'Shea, in 1856[1] he was sent to study medicine at the Catholic University of Ireland in Dublin.[3] Later that year he journeyed to London where he sought work as a journalist.[1] He left to serve in Pope Pius IX's Irish battalion. During the 1860 siege of Ancona, he reported on the conflict for a newspaper in America. Following his military service for the Papacy, he was hired as a correspondent by the New York Herald and reported on the Austro-Prussian War in 1866.[3]

In 1869 he was a special correspondent for the Evening Standard, for whom he went to France to report on the Franco-Prussian War. During the Siege of Metz (1870), he was arrested as a spy and nearly put to death. His life was spared through the intervention of other journalists and the French Emperor Napoleon III.[3] He remained with the Standard for the next 25 years.[2] During his career he reported on the Third Carlist War and the Bengal famine.[4]

Toward the end of his life he became paralyzed, followed by his death in London.[2] He is buried at the St. Mary's Cemetery at Kensal Green, London.[5] He was twice married and was survived by his second wife and a daughter.[1]


  • Leaves from the Life of a Special Correspondent[1] (1885), 2 volumes
  • An Iron-bound City; or, Five Months of Peril and Privation[1] (1886), 2 volumes
  • Romantic Spain: A Record of Personal Experiences[6] (1887), 2 volumes
  • Military Mosaics: Set of Tales[1] (1888)
  • Mated from the Morgue: A Tale of the Second Empire[6] (1889)
  • Brave Men in Action[1] (1890), with S. J. McKenna
  • Roundabout Recollections[1] (1892), 2 volumes

Selected articles


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "O'Shea, John Augustus". Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 56. 
  2. ^ a b c Sutherland, John (1990), The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction, Stanford University Press, p. 482, ISBN 0804718423. 
  3. ^ a b c Roth, Mitchel P.; Olson, James Stuart (1997), Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 225, ISBN 0313291713. 
  4. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1906), Dictionary of national biography: Index and epitome (2nd ed.), London: Smith, Elder & Co., p. 87. 
  5. ^ Crone, John Smyth; O'Cassidy, Seamus; O'Lochlainn, Colm, eds. (1917), The Irish Book Lover, 9–13, Whyte & Salmond. 
  6. ^ a b "Browsing Authors With Title", The Online Books Page, University of Pennsylvania, retrieved 2013-03-02. 

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