Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
ph_0111207202-Obrien.jpg Fitz-James O’Brien Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Fitz-James O’Brien’s “Oh: Give a Desert Life to Me” in the Irish nationalist newspaper The Nation (1845) was the first of hundreds of his poems published in Irish, English, and American newspapers, journals, and literary magazines. Many poems can be read with pleasure by the modern reader; “The Finishing School,” a long satiric poem on Madame Cancan’s New York School for women, is one example. O’Brien wrote at least six plays; A Gentleman from Ireland (1854), a two-act comedy, is the best known, having been staged at Wallack’s Theatre in New York during his lifetime. He also wrote innumerable essays, dramatic reviews, articles on varied subjects, and narratives for periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Knickerbocker, Putnam’s Magazine, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Harper’s Weekly, Vanity Fair, The American Whig Review, Lantern, and Home Journal.