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.  The Reverend 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.  The 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’ while the ‘Tribal Squabbles’ of the Irish seemed frivolous. However she changed her views when she read ‘The Bogs of Stars’ by Standish O’Grady.  The 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 agree to join the Mayo branch (Coilite Maghact).  During 1909 due to her interest also her heavy workload an estimated 7,000 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 the 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, ‘The Wager’ 1902 F. M. Buckley N.Y.[v]

‘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 and Nolan Dublin, ‘The Professor in Erin’ 1918 M.H. Gill Dublin.[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]


Her Autobiography ‘White Light and Flame, Memories of the Irish Literary Revival and the Anglo – Irish war’ 1929 Talbot Dublin. (a copy is held within the Reference Section of Mayo County Library) [viii]


Lottie’s demise occurred on 5th October 1944. She is buried within the Ballinamore, Churchyard Co. Mayo.[ix]


Walsh Stephen ‘Irish in Fiction’ (Pt 1) 1919 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.”  Georoid Mac Spealain translated her novel “Nuala into Irish during 1950.[x]

  1. J. Mc Manus stated that she was a staunch Nationalist. plus that her writings helped the Country’s cause for more than two generations. (‘The Irish Press’ 6th October 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 plus 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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