John and Michael Banim
John and Michael Banim
    John & Michael Banim
     Catholic_Encyclopedia John & Michael Banim
    John Banim
    Poet, dramatist, novelist, b. 3 April, 1798, at Kilkenny, Ireland; d. 31 August, 1842. His father, following the double occupation of farmer and storekeeper, was in easy circumstances. John's literary efforts began very early; at ten he wrote some verses and a tale of considerable length. After a preparatory training in private schools he entered Kilkenny College in 1810. Having a taste for painting and drawing he went to Dublin in 1813 to study art. In two years he was back in Kilkenny, became a drawing teacher, and fell desperately in love with one of his pupils, a girl two years his junior. The girl's father refused his consent, wit the result that in two months she died of a broken heart. Her lover almost followed her example. An entire disregard of self at the time of the funeral caused paralysis and left him a victim of spinal disease, which afflicted him almost incessantly and finally caused his death. At the end of a year he set out for Dublin with a literary career in view. It was not long before he made his reputation. In 1821, when only twenty-three years old, he wrote the tragedy "Damon and Pythias", which was played at Covent Garden with Macready and Charles Kemble in the principal parts. After his marriage, which took place during a visit to his parents, he planned with his brother Michael, "The Tales of the O'Hara Family". These were to be written in collaboration, each brother to submit his work to the other for revision. As a result, it is impossible to distinguish from internal evidence the work of each. Their ambition was to do for Ireland what Scott, by his Waverley Novels, had done for Scotland — to make their countrymen known with their national traits and national customs and to give a true picture of the Irish character with its bright lights and deep shadows. To London, a wider field for literary work, Banim went in 1822 "without friends and with little money to seek his fortune". The next ten years were a fruitful season, during which he contributed frequently to various periodicals, and produced a considerable number of operative pieces, dramas, essays, and novels, but always at the expense of "wringing, agonizing, burning pain". Writing of this period to his brother, he says: "Of more than twenty known volumes I have written, and treble their quantity in periodicals, no three pages have been penned free from bodily pain.". The little crumbs of comfort he received he generously shared with his countryman, Gerald Griffin, who wrote of his early struggles in London: "What would I have done if I had not found Banim?" In 1829 John Banim was ordered to France in the hope that he might repair his shattered health, but the journey was of no avail. In a few years a stroke of paralysis "deprived him of the use of his limbs and brains". In 1835 he returned to Kilkenny by slow stages. Dublin and his native city showed him signal honour by demonstrations that moved him deeply. A public appeal for assistance met with such generous response that his financial troubles were ended. The Government, in recognition of his literary work, granted him a pension of £150, and an additional sum of £40 a year for the education of his daughter. His last work was the revision of a story which he had inspired and encouraged his brother to write, "Father Connell", the picture of his beloved parish priest of Kilkenny. He died in his own Windgap Cottage, just outside Kilkenny, at the early age of forty-four. His principal works are: the poems, "Soggarth Aroon", "Aileen", "The Celt's Paradise"; the dramas, "Damon and Pythias" and "The Prodigal"; and the novels, "John Doe", "The Fetches", "Peter of the Castle", "The Mayor of Windgap", and "The Boyne Water", the last a political novel.
    Michael Banim
    Novelist, and co-worker with his brother John, b. at Kilkenny, Ireland, 5 August, 1796: d. 30 August, 1874. At sixteen he began the study of law, but soon abandoned it because of business reverses which befell his father. He took upon himself his father's burden and re-established his parents in comfortable circumstances. The little leisure his business cares allowed him he made the most of by gathering material for "The Tales of the O'Hara Family". At the urgent request of John, he contributed several of the stories, his first, "Crohoore of the Billhook", being perhaps the most popular of all. But Michael generously kept himself in the background in order to let his younger brother have all the honour of their joint production. Out of twenty-four volumes he wrote thirteen. Unlike John, however, he was a man of action, and threw himself earnestly into various movements for the uplifting of his countrymen, educationally and economically. After serving for many years as postmaster of Kilkenny, he died at the age of seventy-eight at Booterstown, not far from Dublin. The principal works of Michael Banim are: "Crohoore of the Billhook", "The Ghost Hunter", "Father Connell", and "The Croppy", a tale of 1798.
    The Banims may be justly called the first national novelists of Ireland. They knew their countrymen not as the strange, grotesque caricatures too often portrayed in fiction, but as members of the great human family with noble impulses and generous traits. Their work, however, is notably free from patriotic bias. Their Irishmen have their faults. Though naturally sympathetic, tender-hearted, and forgiving, these typical Celts could become stern, bitter, and revengeful. Ignorance, poverty, and cruelty are shown to exist among the peasantry. But the reader cannot fail to see the cause of all this—the natural working out of religious persecution and political oppression. Criticism has been directed against some of their writings as "harrowing", and "impure". The latter criticism is unfortunately justified; John admitted and regretted it, and Michael acted on it by preventing one of the stories, "The Nowlans", from being reprinted. As to the "harrowing" elements, which are certainly conspicuous, the brothers answered: "We paint from a people of a land among whom, for the last six centuries, national provocations have never ceased to keep alive the strongest and often the worst passions of our nature". It may be added that, besides their desire to give a true picture of their country, still crippled and prostrate from the effects of the Penal Laws, they were undoubtedly influenced by the Romantic movement, then at its height. A recent edition of the works of the Banims, in ten volumes, which gives a life of John Banim, appeared in New York, 1896.
    Murray, Life of John Banim (London, 1857); Read, Cabinet of Irish Literature (London, 1891); The Nation and The Freeman's Journal, (Dublin) files; Krans, Irish Life and Irish Fiction (New York, 1903); Dict. Of Nat. Biogr..
    M.J. FLAHERTY
    Transcribed by Susan Birkenseer

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • Banim, John and Michael — ▪ Irish authors Respectively,   born April 3, 1798, County Kilkenny, Ire. died Aug. 13, 1842, County Kilkenny born Aug. 5, 1796, County Kilkenny died Aug. 30, 1874, Booterstown, near Dublin       brothers who collaborated in novels and stories of …   Universalium

  • Michael Banim — (1796–1874) was an Irish writer, brother of John Banim. Contents 1 Works 2 See also 3 References 4 External links Works …   Wikipedia

  • Banim, John & Michael — • Brothers and writers from Kilkenny, Ireland Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Banim, John & Michael     John & Michael Banim      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • John Banim — (April 3, 1798 August 30, 1842), Irish novelist, sometimes called the Scott of Ireland, was born at Kilkenny. In his thirteenth year he entered Kilkenny College and devoted himself specially to drawing and miniature painting. He pursued his… …   Wikipedia

  • John Banim — (* 3. April 1798 in Kilkenny, Irland; † 13. August 1842 in Booterstown, Irland) war ein irischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem durch seine an Walter Scott angelehnten Tales of the O Hara Family (Geschichten über die Familie O Hara) gefiel. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Banim, John — (1798 1842)    Novelist, began life as a miniature painter, but was led by the success of his first book, Tales of the O Hara Family, to devote himself to literature. The object which he set before himself was to become to Ireland what Scott has… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Banim Brothers —    , Michael (1796 1874) and John (1798 1842)    Irish brothers who collaborated in many writing novels and dramas. They were born in Kilkenny to a prosperous businessman who ensured that his sons had a good education. Michael studied law, but… …   British and Irish poets

  • BANIM, JOHN —    Irish author, a native of Kilkenny, novelist of Irish peasant life on its dark side, who, along with his brother Michael, wrote 24 vols. of Irish stories, &c.; his health giving way, he fell into poverty, but was rescued by a public… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Irish literature — Introduction       the body of written works produced by the Irish. This article discusses Irish literature written in English from about 1690; its history is closely linked with that of English literature. Irish language literature is treated… …   Universalium

  • List of Irish writers — This is a list of writers either born in Ireland or holding Irish citizenship. Writers whose work is in Irish are included. All links should have an article. Please create one for all red (dead) links.DramatistsA–D* John Banim (1798 – 1842) *… …   Wikipedia

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