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O'Keeffe Clan

Gathering and Rally

9, 10 and 11 Sept 2016

guided tours, lectures

historical and genealogical exhibitions

cultural and musical events,

buffet banquet Saturday evening
Adelaide O’ Keeffe

Adelaide O'Keeffe Poet and Novelist

Adelaide was born in 05/11/1776 in Dublin, the daughter of John (The Dramatist) and Mary O Keeffe whose marriage ended badly. Mary was reared by a nurse in a cabin in Wicklow, her mother visits were few because she was denied access to her daughter and her father is said to have visited regularly. The children were to be schooled in England in 1782, but were sent to France because he found out their mother was seeing them secretly. Adelaide was educated in convent in France until 1788. Adelaide became her father’s secretary when her education finished because of his blindness. She herself penned her first work a novel, ‘Llewellin’ written in 1795, it was published in 1799. She wrote ‘Patriarchal times or the land of Canaan’, which developed the story of Genesis. It was first published in 1811 and it was republished for the sixth time in 1842. Her best known work was of children’s poems. Her life’s experiences were reflected in her works, this can be seen in her novel ‘Dudley’ (1819) which was written after her brother’s death in 1813. Another piece of work was about the effects of a broken marriage on children, this was named ‘The Broken Sword’ (1854). She lived in Britain all her life, she did try to sell works belonging to her father but was unable. She did publish a collection of his poems and a short essay in ‘A father’s legacy to his daughter’ (1834). Adelaide worked as a governess intermittently and was not financially well off. She remained single throughout her life. She passed away in 1865 in Southampton.

Patricia O Keeffe, Newmarket.