KAVANAGH, JITLIA. (1824-1877), novelist, was born at Thurlcs in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1824. She was the daughter of Morgan Kavanagh, author of various philological works, and she spent several years of her early life with her parents in Normandy, laying there the foundation of a perfect mastery of the French language and practical insight into French modes of thought, which was perfected by her later frequent and long residences in France. Miss Kavanagh's literary career began with her arrival in London about her twentieth year, and, beyond the publication of her successive works, her uneventful life with her widowed mother affords few incidents to the chronicler. On the outbreak of the Franco-German war the two ladies removed from Paris, where they were living, to Rouen. Thence they subsequently passed to Nice, where on October 28, 1877, Julia Kavanagh died, in her fifty-fourth year. She is described as having been in person extremely small, with large, luminous, brown eyes, and a wealth of splendid hair. She was a devout Roman Catholic.
Julia Kavanagh's first book was Three Paths, 1847, a story for the young ; but her first work to attract notice was Madeleine, a tale of Auvergne, 1848. A Summer and Winter in the Two Sieilies, 2 vols., 1858, was the fruit of a journey made about 1853 to France, Switzerland, and Italy. French WOInC7L of Letters, 2 vols., 1S62, and English Women of Letters, 2 vols., 1863, are collections of slight biographical essays on lady novelists. She wrote also Woman in France during the 1811i century, 2 vols., 1850, and Women of Christianity, 1852. But Miss Kavanagh is better known by her numerous novels and tales contributed to various magazines. The scenes of these are almost always laid in France, and the authoress handles her French themes with fidelity and skill. Her style is simple and pleasing rather than striking ; her characters are interesting without being strongly individualized ; and the paucity of incident in the unravelling of her plots sometimes seems to threaten monotony. Her most popular novels arc perhaps Adele, 1857 ; Queen Hub, 1863 ; and John Dorrien, 1875. Others are Nathalie, 1850 ; Daisy Burns, 1853 ; Graec Lee, 1855 ; Rachel Gray, 1855 ; Seven Years, &c., 1859; Beatrice, 1865 ; Sibyl's Second Lore, 1867; Dora, 1868 ; Siiria, 1870 ; Bessie, 1872; The Pearl Fountain, &e. (written along with her mother), 1876; and Two Lilies, 1877. Forget-me-nots, 2 volumes of shorter tales, appeared after her ∎leath.