The Mary Anne Sadlier Archive
Mary Anne Sadlier (1820-1903), an Irish-American immigrant, wrote sixty
volumes -- from domestic novels to historical romances to children's
While largely forgotten today, Sadlier's work stands as an
important part of American literary history.
In New Lights; or Life in Galway (1851),Sadlier was one of the first American writers to address the Irish
Famine. In all, Sadlier's novels present a panoramic narrative of the trans-Atlantic
voyage west of millions of immigrants.
Sadlier's novels also require us to reexamine
our conception of the literary genres central to nineteenth-century American literature.
What does it mean, for example, when the rugged individual lighting
out for the territories is not Natty Bumpo or Huck Finn, but an eighteen-year
-old domestic servant named Bessy Conway?
The Mary Anne Sadlier Archive is designed to stimulate critical
discussion of this important and fascinating writer. Sadlier's novels are
now out of print and can be read at only a handful of libraries. By putting Sadlier's novel
on-line, I hope to get her work out of the "rare book room" and back into
circulation. From this web site, you will be able to read one of Sadlier's
domestic novels, Bessy Conway, the story of an Irish domestic servant
who journeys to American to see the world and make her fortune during the
era of the Great Famine. You will also be able to access a critical introduction
to her work, related links and information about Sadlier's cultural context,
the most comprehensive
biographical sketch available, a complete bibliography of all of her works as well
an extensive bibliography of related material.
Mary Anne Sadlier's Life and Work
Mary Anne Sadlier in Cultural Context