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Maeve Binchy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Light a Penny Candle (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lilac Bus (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Echoes (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firefly Summer (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silver Wedding (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Circle of Friends (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Copper Beech (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glass Lake (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shancarrig (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Evening Class (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tara Road (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scarlet Feather (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Quentins (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nights of Rain and Stars (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whitethorn Woods (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heart and Soul (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Minding Frankie (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Week in Winter (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sister Caravaggio (With: Peter Cunningham,Neil Donnelly,Cormac Millar,Éilís Ní Dhuibhne,Mary O'Donnell,Peter Sheridan,Peter Cunningham) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Builders (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Star Sullivan (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Week in Summer (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Full House (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dusty's Winter (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The September Letters (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Fairytales for Feminists Books

Sweeping Beauties (By: Rita Kelly,Elaine Crowley) (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cinderella on the Ball (By: Zoë Fairbairns) (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride on Rapunzel (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Deeply Regretted By (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Half Promised Land (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
End of Term (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Central Line (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Victoria Line / London Transports (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dublin Four (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Story Teller (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dublin People (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Year It Will Be Different and Other Stories (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cross Lines (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Return Journey (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maeve's Times (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chestnut Street (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Few of the Girls (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maeve Binchy’s Treasury (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Maeve's Diary (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dear Maeve (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aches & Pains (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Time to Dance (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Irish Girls About Town(1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Virgins and Hyacinths: The Attic Press Book of Fiction(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder On The Railways(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tangled Web(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Over the Moon(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
From the Republic of Conscience(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
London Stories(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories for Christmas and the Festive Season(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maeve Binchy was a columnist, playwright, short story writer, and novelist. She was also a speaker, loved for her humorous take on life in small towns of Ireland. She was known for creating stories with descriptive characters, in depth human nature and clever surprise endings. Her work has been translated in 37 languages with sales number of forty million copies worldwide.

During the poll for World Book Day in 2000, she finished third ahead of famed writers like Charles Dickens and Stephen King. Ireland’s most loved writer was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Ireland. She was the oldest of four siblings including one brother and two sisters. As her parents were catholic, she attended Holy Child Convent in Killiney and earned a Bachelor’s in history for University of College Dublin.

Her first job was of a French language teacher but she barely had any money. Her career was profoundly affected when her parents gifted her a trip to Israel. Though her parents were nervous sending her alone to Middle East, she went and worked in kibbutz where she picked oranges and tugged chickens.

She regularly sent letters to her parent about her experiences in Israel and her parents would send her letters to a newspaper who published them. This encouraged her to enter the world of writing and started writing travel articles. After her mother’s death in 1968, she was in a state of solitaire. She was single, broke, and expecting a life of spinsterhood until she met Gordon Snell, freelance producer with BBC. She met him during a recording of Woman’s Hour in London.

Their love was a perfect example of cross border love story, she was in Ireland and he was in London. Just for her love, she moved to London and found a job through Irish Times. In 1977, she and Snell got married, though they lived in London for sometime, couple moved to Dalkey, Ireland where Binchy had spent most of her life.

They lived together until Binchy’s death. Binchy suffered a serious hearth related issues in 2002. She was hospitalized for the treatment. Hospitalization was an inspirational experience that compelled her to write Heart and Soul. The book reflected many of her personal experiences in the hospital.

Following her heart diseases, arthritis gave her constant pain and as a result, she went through a major hip operation. Just after a short illness, Binchy died on 30 July 2012 in Dublin. On same evening, Vincent Browne announced her death on Irish television show Tonight with Vincent Browne and mourned for the passing of Ireland’s beloved, and well know novelist.

Her Writing Work First work she did was accidental, she sent letters to her parent about her life in Israel, and her father was so impressed that he took those letters to an Irish newspaper for publishing. The Irish Independent paid her 16 pounds for her work. In 1968, she joined The Irish Times, worked as a writer, columnist, editor, and later reported for the paper from London until she moved back to Ireland. Her first book called My First Book was a collection of her newspaper articles, which was published in 1970.

However, as novelist she has 16 published novels and as short story writer, four short stories. Initially, she wrote short stories such as Central Line and Victoria Line. In 1982, her first novel was published called Light a Penny Candle, which earned her a sum of 52,000 pounds.

The novel was published after being rejected for five times. Most of her stories use Ireland as the background dealing urban and rural life conflicts. Her first book Light a Penny Candle is a story of two girls, Elizabeth and Aisling, who experiences the relationship of friendship during difficult period of World War II. During World War II, London is very dangerous to live and many children are sent to Ireland or USA.

Elizabeth White is sent to live with her mother, Violet’s childhood friend, Eileen O’ Connors who has large family. Elizabeth becomes friend with Eileen’s daughter Aisling. As both girls are of same age, they love each other’s company and grow into young women.

Elizabeth is slowly getting use to Aisling’s family. After the war is over, Elizabeth returns to her real family and gets married but the close relationship of friendship remains strong. They correspond through letters helping each other in their marriage, success, and failure.

However, their own lives are in turmoil. Other Binchy’s masterpiece novel is Circle of Friends. Plot has background of a small town of Knockglen in 1950, which host the story of two girls Bernadette ‘Benny’ Hogan and Eve. Benny is big hearted and only child whereas Eve is an orphan raised by nuns in a convent after her mother’s rich family rejects her.

Friendship blossoms into their teens but Eve’s struggle to pay for her higher studies separates both. Fortunately, an accident brings two girls together in Dublin with two new friends Nan Mahon and Jack Foley. Eve is able to pay for her university tuition fee through her cousin Simon Westward and Benny wins the heart of handsome Jack.

However, friendship is ruined when Nan attempts to use Eve’s family connection to her advantage. The story of sour relations continues when these characters grows old venturing into real working life. It was Binchy’s in depth understanding of human nature that amazed her reader.

Binchy has showed her talent as drama writer for both radio and silver screen. However, many of her novels and short stories are adapted successfully for films and television. Circle of Friends was Binchy’s first book that was made into major Hollywood film starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver.

In addition, Tara Road and How About You are other two novels, which are made into Hollywood films. Binchy’s novel, Echoes published in 1985, was made into four part television miniseries for Channel 4 and The Lilac Bus, a collection of interrelated short stories, was made into a 90 minutes TV movie.

In addition, she won Jacob’s Award for a RTE play called Deeply Regretted By in 1978. Other than being novel writer she was an iconic figure for the Ireland receiving Irish PEN Award in 2007 and in 2010, she received lifetime achievement from the Irish Book Awards. She was highly respected among her contemporary writers.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Maeve Binchy

5 Responses to “Maeve Binchy”

  1. June: 1 month ago

    My Mother who also died in 2012 enjoyed Maeve’s books which I inherited and am enjoying.

  2. Kimberley: 5 months ago

    I truly love every book I have read by Maeve, one of my favorite authors!!

  3. Claudia J Corbin: 2 years ago

    I miss Maeve Binchy! I always looked forward to her next book. While reading, I always wanted to move to these little towns and live amongst the people she wrote about. Her writing was so real and made me feel as though I was really there. I was so sad when I learned of her passing, knowing that now there would be no more adventuresome Irish tales to look forward to. Thank you, Maeve, for these wonderful stories!

  4. Emily W: 3 years ago

    Hi, I love, love Maeve Binchy’s books. You write that her novel “How About You” was made into a film. I do not see a novel listed with that title. Was it retitled from another novel? Thanks

    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      Hi Emily,

      It is a short story found in This Year It Will Be Different, a short story collection by Maeve. I should note some editions publish it as The Hard Core.


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