Kathleen Mannington Caffyn

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Kathleen Mannington Caffyn (née Hunt) (c. 1855 – 6 February 1926) was an Irish-Australian novelist.[1]

Kathleen was born in Tipperary, Ireland, daughter of William de Vere Hunt, and was related to Aubrey de Vere, the poet. She was educated by English and German governesses and moved to London when about 21 years of age. She trained as a nurse and married in 1879 Stephen Mannington Caffyn, a medical practitioner, and went with him to Sydney in 1880.

In 1883 they went to Melbourne where Dr Caffyn had suburban practices and lived in Brighton until 1892. Mrs Mannington Caffyn was a founder of the District Nursing Society in Victoria and served on its committee for around two years. Mrs Caffyn contributed a story of some sixty pages to Cooee: Tales of Australian Life by Australian Ladies (1891), and wrote a novel A Yellow Aster, which was published in London in 1894 under the pseudonym of "Iota". The Caffyns had returned to London in 1892, but the novel was written in Australia. It had an immediate success and was quickly followed by Children of Circumstance (1892), and by some 15 other volumes in the 20 years that followed. These included A Quaker Grandmother (1896), Anne Mauleverer (1899), He for God Only (1903), and Patricia: a Mother (1903), which rank among her better novels and were very popular in their time. All of her novels, except her first, were written after her return to England. Her last novel was Merry Mirrilies (1916).

Caffyn had a love of horses and kept up her interest in hunting and polo until her death in Turin, Italy on 6 February 1926. She was survived by a son.

Her husband, Stephen Mannington Caffyn,(1851–1896), was born at Salehurst, Sussex. In Australia he contributed to The Bulletin in its early days, published Miss Milne and I (1889), a novel which ran into two or three editions. This was followed by Poppy's Tears (1890). He also wrote a few medical pamphlets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Caffyn, Kathleen Mannington". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. pp. 271–272.