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William Bernard MacCabe

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Published : 1 Article
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MacCabe, William Bernard I McCabe I, 1801–1891, journalist, historian. Born in Dublin of Roman Catholic parents. From about 1823 was connected with Dublin press and with provincial Irish newspapers. About 1833 settled in London; was Parliamentary reporter, also writer of critical reviews, for Morning Chronicle; later for Morning Herald. During Parliamentary recesses spent most of his time on the Continent, where his knowledge of languages made him valuable as foreign correspondent. About 1852 renewed his connection for a time with Dublin press, as editor of Telegraph. Then retired from journalistic work and lived for many years in Brittany. Contributed to Dublin Review, Once a Week, N. & Q., and other periodicals. Author of A Catholic History of England, 1847–54; and of historical romances, e.g., Florine, Princess of Burgundy, 1855; Adelaide, Queen of Italy, 1856.

      MacCabe and Dickens must have become acquainted when both were reporters for the Morning Chronicle, though Dickens evidently did not, some years after, remember MacCabe dearly. In a letter to Thomas Beard, Feb. 14, 1844, in reply to Beard's request that Dickens provide MacCabe an introduction to Chapman & Hall, Dickens wrote of "Mr. McCabe": " ... I entertain (I think I do, at least?) a very pleasant recollection of him as an especially cheerful and good natured old colleague." Nonesuch Letters identifies "Mr. McCabe" as the Irish historian.
      "The Six Giants of Lehon" [XVII, 509–518. May 15, 1858] is a Celtic saint's legend told to the writer in Brittany by an Irishman resident there. The writer indicates that he himself is from Ireland. His explanation that Breton and Irish are to some extent mutually intelligible shows his interest in, and knowledge of, languages.

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971.

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