Irish Fiction Fridays: Rosa Mulholland: The Late Miss Hollingford

Welcome to another edition of Irish Fiction Friday! This week we feature Rosa Mulholland – also known as Lady Gilbert, and she wrote under the name of Ruth Murray as well. This Irish poet, playwright and novelist was born in Belfast in 1841. She was encouraged in her writing by Charles Dickens. In 1891, she married John Thomas Gilbert, about whom she eventually wrote a biography, and she died in Dublin where they lived in 1921.

This week we feature her novel The Late Miss Hollingford. The Spectator Archive had this to say about the novel: “This tale appeared many years ago in AU the Year Round, and was honoured by being printed in the same volume of the Tauchnitz collection with Charles Dickens’s “No Thoroughfare.” It is a good story, and worth republication. There is novelty in the central idea,—a girl, dismayed at the ruin and disgrace which through her father’s wrong-doing has overtaken her family, hides herself from her friends, and reappears under circumstances which lead to curious complications. And this idea is worked out with such skill that, though a French translator was not far wrong in altering the title to ” Une Idea Fantastique,” the reader is willing to accept it without question as he goes on”.