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Kate O'Brien (1897-1974), Novelist

Sitter in 16 portraits
Born in Limerick, O'Brien attended University College, Dublin, and started writing while teaching in London. After a short-lived marriage, she wrote the play Distinguished Villa (1926), followed by an award-winning novel Without my Cloak (1931). O'Brien's sagas of Irish families are dominated by the theme of conflict between Catholicism and an artistic or liberal temperament. Mary Lavelle (1936) was inspired by O'Brien's time working as a governess in Spain in the early 1920s.