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Seumas MacManus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seumas MacManus.
Seumas MacManus.

Seumas MacManus (31 December 1867 – 23 October 1960) was an Irish author, dramatist, and poet known for his ability to reinterpret Irish folktales for modern audiences.[1]

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Born James McManus on 31 December 1867 in Mountcharles, County Donegal, he was the son of Patrick McManus, a merchant, and Mary Molloy.[2]

He became a teacher, and in the 1890s began contributing articles and stories to newspapers in the US.

On 22 August 1901 he married the Antrim poet, balladeer and publisher Ethna Carbery,[3] daughter of a Fenian and one of the founders of feminist nationalist organisation Inghinidhe na hÉireann, and they moved in together in Revlin House in Donegal. Carbery died the following year of gastritis, aged 37. MacManus published her hugely successful work for many years after her death.

On 9 March 1911 in Manhattan, New York, he married Catalina Violante Paez (died 1962), the granddaughter of a former Venezuelan president, General José Antonio Páez.[4] The couple had two daughters: Mariquita Paez MacManus (1912–2011)[5] and Patricia MacManus (1914–2005).[6]

MacManus died on 23 October 1960 after falling from the seventh-floor window of the Mary Manning Walsh nursing home in New York City.[7] He was 92.


Seamus MacManus is considered by many to be the last great seanchaí, or storyteller of the ancient oral tradition. He wrote down and interpreted traditional stories so that they would not be lost to future generations. In one book he encourages the reader to read the stories aloud and to others. "These tales were made not for reading, but for telling. They were made and told for the passing of long nights, for the shortening of weary journeys, for entertaining of traveler-guests, for brightening of cabin hearths. Be not content with reading them… And grateful be to the shanachies who passed these tales to me, for you - Sean O'Hegarty, Mairghid Burns, Eoghain O'Cuinn, and the Bacach Ruadh. May God grant their souls rest." Archived recordings of MacManus reading his stories exist in Notre Dame and Seton Hall, and some of his books are available for download on the Internet Archive.



  • The Bend of the Road (1898) Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd, 1st ed: 1898, 2nd ed: 1906.
  • In Chimney Corners: Merry Tales of Irish Folk‐lore (1899)
  • Through the Turf Smoke: The Love, Lore, and Laughter of Old Ireland (1899) New York: Doubleday & McClure Co.
  • The Bewitched Fiddle and Other Irish Tales (1900)
  • Donegal Fairy Stories (1900)
  • Lad of the O'Friels (1903) & (1945)
  • The Red Poocher(1903)
  • Ballads of a Country Boy (1905)
  • Lo, and Behold Ye (1905)
  • Doctor Kilgannon (1907) 1st ed: Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd, 1907.
  • Yourself and the Neighbors (1915)
  • Top O' the Mornin' (1920)
  • Tales that Were Told (1920)
  • The Story of the Irish Race: A Popular History of Ireland (1921) (4th revised edition 1944)
  • The Donegal Wonder Book (1926)
  • The Well O' the World's End (1939) & (3rd printing 1954)
  • Dark Patrick (1939) 1st ed: New York: Macmillan Company, 1939
  • The Rocky Road to Dublin (1947)
  • Tales from Ireland (1949)
  • We Sang for Ireland (1950)
  • Heavy Hangs the Golden Grain (1950)
  • The Bold Heroes of Hungry Hill, and Other Irish Folk Tales (1951)
  • The Little Mistress of the Eskar Mor (1960)
  • Hibernian Nights (1963)
  • "Sinn Fein", North American Review vol. 185, no.621, 16 August 1907'[8]

Short stories

  • The Curse of the Heretic (1910)
  • 5 Minutes a Millionaire (1911)


  1. ^ Jack Zipes. "Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales: Seumas MacManus". Answers Corporation. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  2. ^ "General Registrar's Office". Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  3. ^ "General Registrar's Office". Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ "A Lad of the O'Friels - Seumas MacManus | Book Lives". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  5. ^ "Mariquita Mullan, poet". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  6. ^ "Obituaries (". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  7. ^ "Miami Daily News-Record from Miami, Oklahoma on October 25, 1960 · Page 8". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  8. ^ Seumas MacManus, Sinn Fein, on jstor

External links

This page was last edited on 16 August 2019, at 15:57
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