Patricia Lynch
Patricia Lynch was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 of children's literature
Children's literature
Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

 and journalist. She was the author of some 48 novels and 200 short stories. She is best known for blending Irish rural life and fantasy as in The Turf-Cutter's Donkey.


Patricia Lynch was born in Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. She received her education at schools in Ireland, England, Scotland and Belgium. She became a journalist and in 1916 was sent to Dublin by Sylvia Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffragist movement in the United Kingdom. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism.-Early life:...

 to report on the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 for The Workers' Dreadnought. Although a committed Irish nationalist, she retained a London accent to the end of her life.

Lynch married socialist historian R. M. Fox
R. M. Fox
Richard Michael Fox , better known as R. M. Fox, was a journalist and historian of the Irish left.Fox was born in Leeds in 1891, the second of four sons to a schoolteacher mother and engineering workman father...

 in Dublin on 31 October 1922 and they settled in Glasnevin
Glasnevin is a largely residential neighbourhood of Dublin, Ireland.-Geography:A mainly residential neighbourhood, it is located on the Northside of the city of Dublin . It was originally established on the northern bank of the River Tolka...

. She died in Monkstown, County Dublin on 1 September 1972 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery , officially known as Prospect Cemetery, is the largest non-denominational cemetery in Ireland with an estimated 1.5 million burials...

 with her husband. Her semi-autobiographical A Story-Teller's Childhood was published in 1947.

Her work

Patricia Lynch is best known for The Turf-Cutter's Donkey, first published in 1934. This story concerns Seamus and Eileen, an enchanted teapot and the little grey donkey, Long Ears. The children meet a leprechaun
A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. Like other fairy creatures, leprechauns have been linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology...

, a golden eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

, the Salmon of Knowledge
Salmon of Wisdom
The Salmon of Knowledge is a creature figuring in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. This salmon was sometimes called Fintan, or Finntan, in ancient times and is sometimes confused with Fintan mac Bóchra who was also known as, "The Wise" and once transformed into a salmon...

 and Finn
Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill , known in English as Finn McCool, was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring also in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man...

 on their adventure. A few sequels followed.

Another series of hers is the Brogeen series, a fantasy children's book series. In this series, Brogeen is the name of the main character in the book, a leprechaun who keeps running away from his home. It has been read on radio and released as a puppet theatre series on Irish TV.

The Bookshop on the Quay is her best-known non-fantasy book. It tells the story of Shane from the country who learns the trade of bookselling at The Four Masters Bookshop in Dublin. The book was read on Jackanory
Jackanory is a long-running BBC children's television series that was designed to stimulate an interest in reading. The show was first transmitted on 13 December 1965, the first story being the fairy-tale Cap o' Rushes read by Lee Montague. Jackanory continued to be broadcast until 24 March 1996,...


Lynch's literature, always morally simple, remains praised for its otherworldly depictions of life in the west of Ireland. Her protagonists often encounter characters from Irish folklore, and speak a Gaelicised English reminiscent of Lady Gregory's Kiltartan.

Marcus Crouch
Marcus Crouch
Marcus Crouch was a British librarian and an influential reviewer of, and commentator on, children's books.- Life and works :...

 in The Nesbit Tradition describes Lynch's work as "the richest and most heart-warming of family stories." He particularly mentions the fantasy The Grey Goose of Kilnevin and the "homely adventure" Fiddler's Quest.

Her works had many different illustrators, including the renowned artists John Butler Yeats
John Butler Yeats
John Butler Yeats was an Irish artist and the father of William Butler Yeats, Lily Yeats, Lollie Yeats and Jack B. Yeats. He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National...

 (The Turf-Cutter's Donkey) and Sean Keating
Seán Keating
Seán Keating was an Irish romantic-realist painter who painted some iconic images of the Irish War of Independence and of the early industrialization of Ireland...

(The Grey Goose of Kilnevin).

External links

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