Page 329. " would I mind getting her a book every week, a romance by Charlotte M. Brame or any other nice writer. "

Charlotte M. Brame (1836-84) was a prolific writer of romantic Mills & Boone-type romantic stories in the mid to late 19th century.  Her best-known novel was "Dora Thorne". 

The Public Libraries and Museums Act applied to Ireland from 1853. The first library  opened in Dundalk in 1858, followed by two others in Dublin in 1884, and another in Belfast in 1888.


Page 330. " The Irish army is looking for boys who are musical and would like to train in the Army School of Music. "

In 1922, General Richard Mulcahy had the idea for an Army School of Music, training bands to "dispense music and musical understanding to the people". In 1923, Colonel Fritz Brase, Royal Music Director at Berlin Academy, was recruited to set up the project.  Between 1924 and 1936, a school and four bands were established.  The bands flourish today and apart from military ceremonial music, they play a wide range of music at concerts, ballet and opera.

St Patrick's Day Parade

Page 332. " There are four big books, Butler's Lives of the Saints. "

St Brigid
Public DomainSt Brigid
Alban Butler's "Lives of the Saints" is the definitive book on the lives, deaths, writings and historical significance of over 2,000 Catholic saints.


Page 333. " My favourite is Christina the Astonishing who takes ages to die. "

St Christina the Astonishing (1150-1224) was a severe epileptic. She was thought to have died during a seizure, but at her funeral she recovered and levitated to the roof.  She claimed to have been to purgatory, hell and heaven.

She is the patron saint of psychiatrists and the mentally ill.

Page 335. " he hands out a small book, a poem that goes on for pages and pages, The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith. "

Oliver Goldsmith
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOliver Goldsmith - Credit: Frederic
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74) wrote "The Deserted Village" in 1770.  This nostalgic pastoral poem regrets the migration of poor farmers and their families from the country to the city, following the Inclosure Acts (1750-1860). These acts took away the rights of farmers to graze animals on common land.


Page 336. " Take him up to the Christian Brothers. "
Edmund Ignatius Rice
Public DomainEdmund Ignatius Rice

The Congregation of Christian Brothers was founded in Waterford in 1802 by Edmund Ignatius Rice, with the purpose of educating poor boys in the area.  Rice sold his business, and devoted his money and life to educating the poor.

Page 338. " He says he comes from the order of the White Fathers, missionaries to the nomadic Bedouin tribes "
Cardinal Charles Lavigerie
Public DomainCardinal Charles Lavigerie
The society of the White Fathers was founded in 1868 by Cardinal Lavigerie, Archbishop of Algeria.  Now known as Missionaries of Africa, it is an international society working to alleviate suffering in Africa.  They traditionally wore the white robes of Algerian Arabs and spoke their language in order to live, as far as possible, like the Africans.

Official web site