Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Mary Agnes Tincker

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 14
Mary Agnes Tincker

by Regina Randolph Jenkins


Novelist, born at Ellsworth, Maine, 18 July, 1833; died at Boston, Massachusetts, 4 December, 1907. At the age of thirteen she began teaching in the public schools. At fifteen her first literary work was printed. At twenty she became a Catholic, and even her Protestant relatives shared in her sufferings from Knownothing bigotry. In 1863 she became a volunteer war nurse, serving in Washington until she grew ill. Boston then became her home. Short stories from her pen appeared in the early numbers of "The Catholic World", where also her first novel "The House of Yorke" was issued as a serial (1871-72). It was followed by "Grapes and Thorns" (1873-74) and "Six Sunny Months" (1876-77). The latter was the first fruit of her sojourn in Italy (1873-87). These three novels sounded a distinctly new note in Catholic literature, and the highest that has ever been struck by an American Catholic novelist. "Signor Monaldini's Niece" (1879), in "No Name" series; "By the Tiber" (1881); "The Jewel n the Lotus" (1884); "Aurora" (1885); "The Two Coronets" (1887); "San Salvador" (1889; were issued by the most prominent literary publshers and won her great fame as works of real art. They reflected for the most part the beauty of Italy. A lapse from the practice of her religion cast its shadow perhaps over a few of her novels written at that time. She returned to her religious duties many years before her death. Her last book, fittingly called "Autumn Leaves" (1898) was issued by a Catholic firm, and contained matter contributed not long before to "The Catholic World".

Regina Randolph Jenkins.