Louise Imogen Guiney: Poet, Critic, Biographer

Today marks the birth of Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), a Massachusetts-born essayist, poet, and literary scholar who spent much of her life in England. The daughter of a Civil War general, she worked as a postmistress and librarian in New england while pursuing her writing. In 1901, she moved to England permanently. In addition to her essays and poems, she wrote biographies of Irish nationalist Robert Emmett and Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion. In later years she wrote critical and biographical studies of English Catholic writers. In 1920, she died of a stroke in Gloucestershire. In 1939 her anthology of Catholic poets was published posthumously. Her father’s letters, published by Fordham University Press, are worth reading too.

About Pat McNamara
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02233654159829533089 LMB

    It was nice to see someone wish Guiney a happy birthday! She was one of the subjects of my 2005 dissertation, and if you’re interested, I just wrote a long chapter on she and other 19th century Boston Catholic literati in Tom O’Connor’s edited collection Two Centuries of Faith for the bicentennial of the Archdiocese of Boston that will be out later this year from Crossroads. When I was in Oxford this summer, I went to see her grave in Wolvercote cemetery. It needs to be a bit better taken care of, sadly, but it’s a lovely Celtic cross. Cheers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17953214762289672139 Pat McNamara

    Thanks for letting me know about that book! I’m glad Boston is doing something for their bicentennial. I’m looking forward to your essay: not much out there on 19th c. Catholic literati. They’re an interesting group, years ahead of their time (sometimes still!). Cheers!

  • http://www.deadpoes.org Walter Skold

    Hello, I am wondering if you know where Louise Guiney is buried? I have read she died in Chipping Campden, just south of Stratford on Avon. If you don't know, any ideas who to contact that might know? The Archdiocese in that area? A biographer?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17953214762289672139 Pat McNamara

    I'd try the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.