Clara Mulholland (1849 - 1934):
Clara Mulholland was one of the most productive writers of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
She was born in Belfast, daughter of Joseph Stevenson Mulholland MD and his wife Maria Coleman from Newry; the family was resident at 55 Donegall Street near Belfast city centre. Clara was educated at home though with spells in convents in England and Belgium. Her father died in 1855 and though the family initially remained in Belfast they did in the end decamp to London. Clara and her mother resided for a time in Harley Street at the house of Lord Charles Russell, a barrister of Killowen, County Down, and Clara’s brother-in-law through her older sister, Ellen Cecilia. In 1901 Clara, who was not married, was resident at Portman Mansions, Marylebone, and registered as a “Writer of Fiction”.
She produced her first novel in the 1880s and was a prolific novelist throughout her life. She also wrote books for young people. Among her titles are Linda's Misfortunes and Little Brian's trip to Dublin (1885); Percy's Revenge (1888); In A Roundabout Way (1908) and Sweet Doreen (1915).
Her sister Rosa was a prominent writer and novelist, for example a stalwart of Irish Monthly, a leading literary periodical of the day. Her her sister Ellen married Charles Russell, who later became the first Catholic Lord Chief Justice of England since the Reformation.
She died at home at South Terrace, Littlehampton, Sussex.
Kate Newmann: Dictionary of Ulster Biography (Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1993); www.ricorso.net; original research by Maud Hamill, Ulster History Circle
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