Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Mary Anne Madden Sadlier

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 13
Mary Anne Madden Sadlier

by Thomas Francis Meehan


Authoress, b. at Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Ireland, 30 Dee., 1820; d. at Montreal, Canada, 5 April, 1903. Her father, Francis Madden, a merchant of fine tastes, encouraged her literary aspirations, and her first efforts were printed in a London magazine, while she was still a girl. After the death of her father she emigrated to Montreal (1844). Here, two years later, she became the wife of James Sadlier, member of the firm, and manager of the Montreal branch of the New York publishing house of D. & J. Sadlier & Co. During the fourteen years that followed she continued to live in Montreal, and did most of the literary work that made her name famous. The family then moved to New York, where her husband died nine years later. The Sadliers owned a weekly paper ("The Tablet"), and in it the majority of her stories appeared. She contributed regularly also to its editorial columns. Her stories and translations number more than sixty volumes, and in their day enjoyed a well-deserved popularity among the rapidly-growing Irish-American community, on whose character, in its constructive period, they exerted a powerful influence. Many of them, admirably wrought out in simplicity of style and the naturalness of the characters, were written for a special purpose. "The Blakes and Flanagans" dealt with the school question "Bessy Conway"; with the trials of the Irish immigrant girl; "Aunt Honor's Keepsake" with the saving of the destitute Catholic children of New York for whom the great protectory was then founded. Irish history also supplied her with a constant source of inspiration which resulted in "The Red Hand of Ulster", "The Confederate Chieftains", "Maureen Dhu", "Life in Galway", "MacCarthy More", "The Old House by the Boyne" and other tales. She translated Orsini's "Life of the Blessed Virgin", and de Ligny's "Christ" and other works, and compiled a "Catechism of Sacred History". After her husband's death Mrs. Sadlier remained several years in New York, and then returned to Canada, where she spent the remainder of her days.

ALLIBONE, Dictionary of Authors, s. v.; The Messenger (New York, May, 1903); The Ave Maria (Notre Dame, Indiana), files; The Catholic News (New York), files.

THOMAS F. MEEHAN