Katherine Purdon
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Katherine Purdon

Katherine Purdon
Katherine Purdon.jpg
BornCatherine Frances Purdon
Enfield, County Meath, Ireland
Died23 June 1920[1]
Innfield, County Meath, Ireland
Other namesK.F Purdon

Katherine Frances Purdon (1852- 23 June 1920) was an Irish novelist and playwright, part of the Irish Revival movement and a member of the United Irishwomen.


Born in Hotwell, Enfield, County Meath, to a farming background, Purdon was educated in school in England and Alexandra College in Dublin.[2][3]

Purdon was a regular contributor to both Irish and English periodicals beginning with Irish Homestead.[4][5][6] She wrote stories which were also produced at the Abbey Theatre. Some of her works were illustrated by Jack B. Yeats and George Russell commented that she wrote perfect English.[2][7] Purdon was one of only eleven women to have a play produced at the Abbey during that period.[8][9] She is described in a review of the day as a new and talented author[10] and there are reviews of her work from London through Jamaica to the New York Times.

Purdon had an interest in the Irish Language movement and was in contact with noted activists like Thomas MacDonagh. However, by her own admission she only had a few words of Irish.[11] Purdon was part of the Irish Revival movement through her representation of the people of Meath and their language and customs.[12][13] Purdon was one of the founding members of the Irish Countrywomen's Association under its original name of the United Irishwomen.[14]


  • The last days of Lord Edward (Smith, Elder and Co, 1898)
  • The laundry at home (Wells Gardner, Darton & Company, 1902)
  • The Fortunes of Flot: A Dog Story, Mainly Fact (Thomas Nelson and sons, 1911)
  • Christina Divelly: a story (1911)
  • Candle and Crib (Dublin: Maunsel 1914)
  • The Folk of Furry Farm (London: Nisbet 1914)
  • Denny of the Doorstep (Dublin: Talbot Press 1918)
  • Spanish lily or only an ass (Dublin: Talbot Press 1921)
  • Kevin and the Cats, etc. (London: S.P.C.K. 1921)


  1. ^ "register of deaths 1920" (PDF). irishgenealogy. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Katherine Frances Purdon". Ricorso. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Dictionary of Irish Biography - Cambridge University Press". Dictionary of Biography, Cambridge. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ Jane Barlow; George A. Birmingham; Lord Dunsany; Susan Langstaff Mitchell, E. Longworth Dames, Katherine Frances Purdon, Thomas Goodwin Keohler, Seumas O'Sullivan, Ella Young, Lily McManus, James Stephens, Jane Georgina Mitchell, W. O'Leary Curtis, Walter Edgeworth Johnstone, Violet Russell, Alice Milligan, F. O'Neill Gallagher (1908), A Celtic Christmas 1907: The Irish Homestead Christmas Number
  5. ^ George A. Birmingham; Susan Langstaff Mitchell; Lily McManus; Winifred M. Letts, Katherine Frances Purdon, Lennox Robinson, Henry Grattan-Bellew (1909), The Irish Homestead. Saturday, December 11th, 1909: Special Double Number Containing : Full Report of the R.D.S. Winter Show and Grand Supplement. A Celtic Christmas
  6. ^ The Irish Homestead, 1912
  7. ^ "PlayographyIreland - K. F. Purdon". Irishplayography. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Lucy Collins (8 June 2012), Poetry by Women in Ireland: A Critical Anthology 1870-1970, Oxford University Press, pp. 17-, ISBN 978-1-84631-723-1
  9. ^ M. Sihra (14 March 2007), Women in Irish Drama: A Century of Authorship and Representation, Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 223-, ISBN 978-0-230-80145-5
  10. ^ "London Standard, March 20, 1914, Page 14". Newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Context: Letter from Katherine Frances Purdon, of Enfield,..." Catalogue.nli.ie. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "Review of The Irish Revival Reappraised edited by Betsy Taylor FitzSimon and James H. Murphy". Https:. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Peter Liebregts; Peter van de Kamp (1995), Tumult of Images: Essays on W.B. Yeats and Politics, Rodopi, pp. 178-, ISBN 90-5183-771-2
  14. ^ J. MacPherson (16 October 2012), Women and the Irish Nation: Gender, Culture and Irish Identity, 1890-1914, Springer, pp. 76-, ISBN 978-1-137-28458-7

Further reading

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