Online Encyclopedia

SAMUEL LOVER (1797-1868)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 72 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAMUEL LOVER (1797-1868), Irish novelist, artist, song-writer and musician, was born in Dublin on the 24th of February 1797. His father was a stockbroker. Lover began life as an artist, and was elected in 1828 a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy—a body of which two years afterwards he became secretary. He acquired repute as a miniature painter, and a number of the local aristocracy sat to him for their portraits. His love for music showed itself at an early age. At a dinner given to the poet Tom Moore in 1818 Lover sang one of his own songs, which elicited special praise from Moore. One of his best-known portraits was that of Paganini, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy. He attracted attention as an author by his Legends and Stories of Ireland (1832), and was one of the first writers for the Dublin University Magazine. He went to London about 1835, where, among others, he painted Lord Brougham in his robes as lord chancellor. His gifts rendered him popular in society; and he appeared often at Lady Blessington's evening receptions. There he sang several of his songs, which were so well received that he published them (Songs and Ballads, 1839). Some of them illustrated Irish superstitions, among these being " Rory O'More," " The Angel's Whisper," " The May Dew " and " The Four-leaved Shamrock." In 1837 appeared Rory O'More, a National Romance, which at once made him a reputation as a novelist; he afterwards dramatized it for the Adelphi Theatre, London. In 1842 was published his best-known work, Handy Andy, an Irish Tale. Meanwhile his pursuits had affected his health; and in 1844 he gave up writing for some time, substituting instead public entertainments, called by him " Irish Evenings," illustrative of his own works. These were successful both in Great Britain and in America. In addition to publishing numerous songs of his own, Lover edited a collection entitled The Lyrics of Ireland, which appeared in 1858. He died on the 6th of July 1868. Besides the novels already mentioned he wrote Treasure Trove (1844), and Metrical Tales and Other Poems (186o). His Life was written in 1874 by Bayle Bernard.
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