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Molly Keane Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Knight of Cheerful Countenance (As: M.J. Farrell) (1921)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Entry (As: M.J. Farrell) (1928)Description / Buy at Amazon
Taking Chances (As: M.J. Farrell) (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mad Puppetstown (As: M.J. Farrell) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Letter Days (As: M.J. Farrell) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Point to Point (As: M.J. Farrell) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devoted Ladies (As: M.J. Farrell) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Full House (As: M.J. Farrell) (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conversation Piece (As: M.J. Farrell) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rising Tide (As: M.J. Farrell) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Days In Aragon (As: M.J. Farrell) (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Enchanting Witch (As: M.J. Farrell) (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Loving Without Tears (As: M.J. Farrell) (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Treasure Hunt (As: M.J. Farrell) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Behaviour (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time After Time (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Loving and Giving / Queen Lear (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Molly Keane's Book of Nursery Cooking and Childhood Reflections (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Molly Keane's Nursery Cooking (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Molly Keane's Ireland(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Molly Keane was a bestselling literary fiction author from Ireland that was born in Ryston Cottage, Newbridge. She was the daughter of Moira O’Neill the poet, and a father who was fanatical about hunting and horses.
She spent much of her childhood in Ballyranking House in Bunclody and unlike her siblings, decided not to go to boarding school in England. As such, she was schooled by governesses and her mother as her father was too detached to ever do anything with her.

She never had much fun growing up as the relationship between her parents was always strained. While her mother was a poet, there wasn’t much reading in her family. Moreover, much of her mother’s poems were of a sentimental nature.
As such, she never set out to become an author but when she was confined to her bed at seventeen suffering from tuberculosis she got started writing since she was so bored.

It was then that she penned the manuscript for “The Knight of the Cheerful Countenance” that would ultimately be published in 1993 under Mills & Boon.

She would, later on, pen several works writing as M.J. Farrell, a pseudonym given that at that time a woman writing a book would have raised a lot of eyebrows.

Keane has always loved reading Jane Austen, which is probably why she is so good at creating memorable characters.

Her talent for character creation usually involves an astute sense of people’s motivations and wit that have made it possible for her to write about the momentous events of Ireland during the 1920s and the 1930s.
According to critics, no one has ever captured these happenings in its genteel racism and vicious snobbery as she did.

Later, Molly Keane decided to adopt her husband’s name when writing her works. Some of the novels that she write under her married name include “Time After Time” and “Good Behavior,” which were so popular that they would be adapted for TV.
Over the course of twenty-eight years between 1928 and 1956, she became a consummate writer with nearly a dozen works to her name. Some of these were plays that she penned under her maiden name M.J. Farrell.

In 1946, she suddenly lost her husband and when one of her plays became a massive flop she never published anything for at least two decades.

She would then publish “Good Behavior” in 1981 writing as Molly Keane. The work was so well received that it was nominated and made the shortlist for the Booker Prize.

Molly Keane met her husband Robert Keane after they were introduced by friends. The two got married in 1938 thus introducing Molly to life as a noblewoman, as her husband was a member of the Keane baronets.

The two would then have two daughters named Virginia and Sally. When she lost her husband in 1946, she moved away from the place they called home to settle in Ardmore in Waterford County.

The author died in Ardmore in 1996 aged 91 and was buried near the village center at the burial site beside the Church of Ireland.

Reviewers have overall been very appreciative of her works with many of her novels praised for their mix of poetic sensibility and comic wit.

“Good Behavior” by Molly Keane tells the story of a large and well below-average woman named Aroon St. Charles and her family that has been in terminal decline.

The family had once upon a time been part and parcel of high Irish society until it fell on hard times as they started spending more than they made.

The family patriarch had lost a limb during the war and then suffered a stroke, which left him unable to communicate effectively and bedridden.

His wife who has taken charge of the family is too incompetent at handling domestic responsibilities. As such, she leans heavily on a maid to nurse her husband and cook the family’s meals.

In the meantime, Aroon has been searching for acceptance and love but without much success. She lies to herself that she once had a man, given that one time, her brother’s best friend had laid his head on her huge bosom.
But the reality is he had just wanted to feel the huge blossom but she believes he was in love with her. She now spends her days pining for the day he will return.

Molly Keane’s novel “Time After Time” is a darkly comic work about an eccentric and strange family.

The members of the Swift family are three sisters June, May, and April, and Jasper their brother. They are now elderly and have long since retired to live in the derelict mansion left to them by their mother in rural Ireland.
But even though they are elderly they are constantly at each other’s necks and cannot stop bickering making for a very explosive situation.

April who is married happens to be deaf, May lost three fingers in one hand, June is practically illiterate while Jasper is one-eyed following a shooting incident in which he had been blinded by June.
They have never forgotten Leda, their cousin who once lived with the family when they were children but had one day gone missing never to be heard from again.

But then she appears on their lawn as a blind woman and says she was Jewish and has just escaped the death camps. She causes a lot of chaos in the house as she causes rifts and manipulates each of the siblings in turn.
The only person who seems immune to her wiles is June, who keeps a wary eye and will do anything to prevent Leda from taking her beloved farmhand from her.

“The Rising Tide” by Molly Keane is a work about the Garonlea, which is one of the greater Irish houses. The leads in the story are the two chatelaines who battle for power over it and have occupied it for several years.
Lady Charlotte is a domineering woman that has ruled over her family for years until Cynthia who is the wife of her son comes along.

For a while, the latter manages to continue to have a lot of influence over Garonlea. During the 1920s she becomes something of a regent following the death of her husband in the First World War as she waits for her son to come of age.
Cynthia actively starts trying to take over the gloomy and cold house starting with a makeover. But she is not strong enough to take over and the next generation sees hellbent on not letting anyone dominate their lives.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Molly Keane

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