Archive for the ‘Fitz-James O’Brien’ Category

Clan Honor Monday
continues with this little story from 1858. Fitz presents us with a
young doctor, a mysterious woman who begs him to make a house call, and
a tiny ingot of gold.

“The Golden Ingot”


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A bitter poem about a tenement house and its rich landlord. Includes some very vivid description of a New York tragedy.

“The Tenement House”

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Of course a man named O’Brien would have written something Irish for a March 1861 issue of Harper’s. And of course it’s going to be pulling on your heartstrings. It’s Irish! As Chesterton pointed out, “All their wars are merry, And all their songs are sad.” And their poems, too.

“Ballad of the Shamrock”


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I really like this one. Yes, it’s slathered in sentiment; but it’s self-aware of that and uses it to its advantage. It’s an interesting comment, coming from a guy who was in the Army and wounded, or about to be wounded, himself.

“A Soldier’s Letter”


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The conclusion of “The Diamond Lens”. One man’s dream of the perfect microscope leads him to cruel deeds and a strange fate.

Part 2, “The Diamond Lens”


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“The Diamond Lens” was one of Fitz-James O’Brien’s most acclaimed stories. You won’t really know why until I post Part 2. (Sorry about that.) Still, the setup section is pretty interesting and bizarre in itself. (Although I can’t figure out if he was gullible about spiritualism, or he liked writing about how it would work if it really were real.)

Part 1, “The Diamond Lens”


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A tale of a warm heart barricaded with ice — and a snowy night.

“Captain Alicant”


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