Marguerite Power

1815-1867; a niece of Marguerite Power (Countess Blessington) [q.v.]; ed. Keepsake, 1851-57; author of novels, Evelyn Forrester; A Woman’s Story (London 1856), The Foresters, a novel, 2 vols. (1857); The Letters of A Betrothed (London 1858); Nelly Carew, 2 vols. (London 1859); Virgina’s Hand (London 1860), a longer poem; Sweethearts and Wives, 3 vols. (2nd edn. 1861); Arabian Days and Nights; or, Rays from the East (London 1863); and much poetry besides. she is called by O’Donoghue ‘one of the best poetesses of her day’ in Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912). ODNB PI IF SUTH

NOTE: It had been impossible at the present time to disentangle the fiction-titles of Marguerite, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849; [q.v.]), and Marguerite Power (1815-67) listed here. I have therefore proceeded on the assumption that each of the titles ascribed to the Countess Blessington in COPAC truly belong to her unless specifically cited in the bibliographies of the works of her niece. It is clear however that Virginia’s Hand, a longer poem which is ascribed to the Countess in COPAC is really by Marguerite as several bibliographers attest and likewise Sweethearts and Wives, a triple-decker novel. In particular, the novels Letters to a Betrothed by "Honoria" (1958) and Nelly Carew (1859) - which is modelled on the early marriage of the elder family member, are properly assigned to Marguerite Power (1815-67) and not her aunt. The novel Victims of Society (1837) is, however, published in modern reprint series as the work of the Countess of Blessington and it is pointless to contest its authorship - quite apart from its early date. (Grace Cassidy, or The Repealers, of 1833 is particularly interesting in this connection.) Thus matters must rest for the present. BS/Ricorso 30.09.2023.)

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Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists Nelly Carew (1859); sentimental romance about a girl forcibly married to a roué [ie., the type of her famous aunt.]

John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Longmans 1988; rep. 1989), notes that Power edited Keepsake; also wrote a long narrative poem, Virginia’s Hand, ded. to Dickens’s friend John Forster and earned praise; he mentions that the young girl in Nelly Carew who is forced to married a dissolute husband was the dg. of a landlord; also ascribes to her The Letters of A Betrothed (1858), by ‘Honoria’ - which is usually ascribed to Countess Blessington as her earliest work, among other novels of which six in the British Library.

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