M. E. Francis

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Mary E. Blundell
Born 1859
Killiney Park, County Dublin
Died 9 March 1930
Pen name M. E. Francis, Mary E. Francis
Occupation Writer
Nationality British, Irish

M. E. Francis was the pen name of Mary Elizabeth Blundell (née Sweetman 1859 – 9 March 1930)[1] who was a prolific Irish novelist. She was described as the best known woman novelist of the day.[2]

Biography[edit]

Blundell was born in Killiney Park, County Dublin to Margaret and Michael James Sweetman. The family moved to Brussels in 1873 and she spent her summers in Switzerland. Her family was quite artistic. Her uncle was the novelist William Sweetman while her sister was writer Agnes Castle (aka Mrs Egerton Castle).[3] She married her husband, Francis Blundell on 18 November 1879 moved to Little Crosby, where his family had been notable Catholics since the 16th century.[3] They had 3 children.[4]

  1. Francis Blundell (politician)
  2. Margaret Elizabeth Clementina Mary Blundell (writer)
  3. Agnes Mary Frances Blundell (M.B.E.), (writer)

Her husband died after only five years married. Blundell had written her first story when she was eight (‘True Joy’) and had a publication in the Irish Monthly the day of her wedding. She took up writing professionally after her husband's death. In later life she wrote in collaboration with her daughters.[5] She later retired to Dorset.
‘The Ireland of her youth, the Lancashire of her married life, and the Dorset of her retirement provided backgrounds for many of her volumes of fiction.’[6]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Little Rosary of the Sacred Heart (M. H. Gill 1886)
  • Whither?: A Novel, 3 vols. (Griffith & Farran 1892), (Griffith & Farran 1893)
  • In a North Country Village (Osgood & McIlwaine 1893), (1896)
  • The Story of Dan (Osgood & McIlwaine 1894)
  • Town Mice in the Country: A Story of Holiday Adventure (Blackie & Son 1894)
  • A Daughter of the Soil (Times Novels Series] (Osgood & McIlwaine 1896)
  • Frieze and Fustian (Osgood & McIlwaine 1895), (1896)
  • Among the Untroden Ways (Blackwood & Son 1896)
  • Maime o’ the Corner (Harper & Bros. 1898)
  • Miss Erin (Methuen & Co. 1898; Benizer 1898)
  • The Duenna of a Genius (Harper & Bros. 1898), (Bernhard Tauchnitz 1899), (T. Nelson & Sons 1907)
  • Yeoman Fleetwood (Longmans & Co. 1900)
  • Pastorals of Dorset (Longmans & Co. 1901)
  • Fiander’s Widow (Longmans & Co 1901)
  • North, South, and Over the Sea (Geo. Newnes 1902)
  • The Manor Farm: A Novel (Longmans & Co. 1902)
  • Christian Thal (Longmans & Co. 1903)
  • Lychgate Hall: A Romance (Longmans & Co. 1904)
  • Dorset Dear (Longmans & Co. 1905)
  • Wild Wheat: A Dorset Romance (Longmans, Green & Co. 1905)
  • The Lord’s Ambassador, and Other Tales (CTS 1905)
  • Father Anselm and Other Stories (CTS 1905)
  • Simple Annals (Longmans & Co. 1906)
  • Stepping Westward (Methuen & Co. 1907)
  • Children of Light and Other Stories (CTS 1907)
  • Margery o’ the Mill (Methuen & Co. 1907)
  • Hardy-on-the-Hill (Methuen & Co. 1908)
  • Madge Make-the-Best-of-It (St Nicholas Series 1908)
  • Galatea of the Wheatfield (Methuen and Co. 1909)
  • Noblesse Oblige (John Long 1909)
  • The Wild Heart (Smith, Elder 1910)
  • The Tender Passion (John Long 1910)
  • Gentleman Roger (Sands & Co. 1911)
  • Honesty (Hodder & Stoughton 1912)
  • Our Alty (John Long 1912), (1914; 1921)
  • The Story of Mary Dunne (John Murray 1913)
  • Molly’s Fortune (Sands & Co. 1913)
  • The Child’s Book of Prayers in Time of War (R. & T. Washbourne 1914);
  • Dark Rosaleen (Cassell & Co. 1915)
  • Penton’s Captain (Chapman & Hall 1916)
  • Little Pilgrims to Our Lady of Lourdes (Burns & Oates 1917)
  • A Maid o’ Dorset (Cassell & Co. 1917)
  • The Things of a Child (W. Collins & Sons 1918)
  • Beck of Beckford (Allen & Unwin 1920)
  • Rosanna Dew (Odhams 1920)
  • Renewal (Allen & Unwin 1921)
  • Mary Waters (Hutchinson 1921)
  • The Runaway (Hutchinson & Co. 1923)
  • Lady Jane and the Smallholders, with Margaret Blundell (Hutchinson & Co., 1924)
  • Young Davis Wife (Hutchinson & Co 1924)
  • Cousin Christopher (T. Fisher Unwin 1925), (Phoenix Publ. n.d.)
  • Golden Sally, with Agnes Blundell (Sands & Co. 1925; B. Herder Book Co., 1925)
  • Young Dave’s Wife: A Novel (Hutchinson (1924])
  • Napoleon of the Looms (Hutchinson & Co. (1925])
  • Idylls of Old Hungary (Sheed & Ward 1926)
  • Tyrer’s Lass, with Agnes Blundell (Sands & Co. 1926)
  • Mossoo; A Comedy of a Lancashire Village (Hutchinson & Co. (1927])
  • The Evolution of Aenome (Hutchinson & Co. 1928)
  • Wood Sanctuary, with Margaret Blundell (Allen & Unwin 1930)
  • Hannie and Father Pat (CTSI 1935)

Other sources[edit]

  • A Round Table of the Representative Irish and English Catholic Novelists: At which is Served a Feast of Excellent Stories; with Portraits, Biographical Sketches, and Bibliography, Authors incl Mary E. Sweetman Blundell ("Mrs. Francis Blundell"), Publisher Benziger Brothers, 1897
  • A Dictionary of Literary Pseudonyms in the English Language, T.J. Carty,Routledge, 1 Dec 2015, 860 pages

References[edit]

  1. ^ Born 1855 also given
  2. ^ D. J. O’Donoghue (1912). The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary. Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co. 
  3. ^ a b Townend, Peter (ed.). Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 18th edition. 3 volumes. London, England: Burke's Peerage Ltd. 
  4. ^ "Online writers Biography". 
  5. ^ John Sutherland (2014). The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. Routledge. p. 736. 
  6. ^ David Trotter; Sarah Kemp; Charlotte Mitchell, eds. (1997). Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion.