Lottie (Charlotte) Mc Manus

Novelist / Nationalist

Lottie Mc Manus
Image from "White Light and Flame"
Kiltimagh Sculpture Park
Author's Personal Photo
Stone at Ballinamore Cemetry
Author's Personal Photo
Graves at Ballinamore Cemetery
Author's Personal Photo

Novelist / Nationalist

Charlotte (Lottie) McManus was a novelist who popularized the exploits of The Wild Geese with Ireland’s ancient lore.  She was a deeply committed nationalist.


James Mc Manus had an uncle who managed a sugar plantation in British Guinea where he possibly met Lottie’s grandfather Reverend Leonard Strong a church missionary who held an estate of nine hundred & twenty-six  acres in the parishes of Bohola & Killedan during the mid- nineteenth century.   Reverend Strong bequeathed the property of Killedan during 1853 to James Mc Manus when he married his daughter Charlotte. The family home Killedan had originally been the in the property of the Taffe Family. [i]


Charlotte (Lottie) was born in Castlebar, Co. Mayo to James & Charlotte Mc Manus of Killedan, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo.  Family briefly resided in that area prior to their move to Sussex. [ii]


Charlotte grew up with the idea of England as ‘The Civilized Conqueror’ whilst the ‘Tribal Squabbles’ of the Irish seemed frivolous.  However she changed her views when she read The Bogs of Stars  by Standish O’Grady.  Bard Thady Conlon sent her a copy of Raftery’s famous poem Cill Aodain  with his own translation. [iii]


Lottie Mc Manus returned to Ireland during 1897 as a committed nationalist with the intention of setting up Gaelic League’s within the county.  She approached Fr. Denis O’ Hara P.P. Kiltimagh (who though skeptical) presided over a meeting in July that resulted in forty members who agreed to join the Mayo branch of Coilite Maghact.   During 1909 due to her interest also her heavy workload an estimated seven thousand people attended a nationalist meeting in Kiltimagh.  Her diaries contained the meetings also various events that she attended up to the Easter Rising of 1916. [iv]


From 1896 to 1922 Lottie Mc Manus’s publications included novels The Red Star 1896 (G. P. Pulnan’s Sons), The Silk of the Kine 1896 (T. F. Unwin London), Lally of the Brigade  1899 (T. F. Unwin London), Nessa 1902 (Sealy, Bryers Walker Dublin) also in same year The Wager (F. M. Buckley N.Y.)   [v]

She produced In Sarsefield’s Days: a Tale of the Siege of Limerick 1908 (M. H. Gill Dublin), Nuala; the story of a Perilous Quest 1908 (Brown & Nolan Dublin), The Professor in Erin (M.H. Gill Dublin) also in 1918.  [vi]


During 1922 Lottie’s publications included The Four Seas of Fola (M. H. Gill Dublin)  She contributed two serials to Sinn Fein One Generation Passeth also a chapter to Macmanus Seamus’s The Story of the Irish Race.   She forwarded several articles to The Penny Pamphlets, in the High King’s Camp, a Battle Champion, Felim Breffney’s Son.  How Enda went to Iceland; the Harper the Prince of the Heathern Cloak was published by the Educational Company of Ireland. [vii]


Lottie’s 1929 autobiography was White Light and Flame, Memories of the Irish Literary Revival and the Anglo-Irish war.  (Talbot Dublin)  A copy is held within the reference section of Mayo County Library. [viii]


Lottie Mc Manus’s  demise occurred on 5th October 1944.  She is buried within  Ballinamore churchyard Co. Mayo. [ix]


Walsh Stephen\’s Irish in Fiction 1998 (Pt 1) (Maunsel Dublin) stated that ‘She holds the distinction of being one of the few writers of historical fiction who wrote from a thoroughly nationalist standpoint.’  Mac Spealain Georoid translated her novel Nuala  into Irish during 1950.[x]

Mc Manus stated that she was a staunch nationalist also that her writings helped the country’s cause for more than two generations. (The Irish Press 6thOctober 1944) [xi]

These lines from Cill Aodain poet Terry Mc Donagh’s (Terry is great grand son of Bard Thady Conlon) Killedan and Nowhere Else remembers Lottie also family. (Page 20) This enjoyable publication has the most amazing artwork throughout its leaves by the wonderful Sally Mc Kenna. [xii]

The Big House poked its head through stately trees,

Lotty, Emily and Dermot MacManus stoked an old piano,

gave voice to a fairy kingdom and

placed whitethorn under protection in deserted drawing rooms.  [xiii]


[i] http://www.ricorso.net/rx/az-data/index.htm

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

[v]  Ibid

[vi] Ibid

[vii] Ibid

[viii] Ibid

[ix] Ibid

[x]  Ibid

[xi] https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/

[xii] www.terrymcdonagh.com

[xiii] Ibid

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