Rosa Mulholland was born in Belfast, and her first choice of career was that of artist. However, Charles Dickens encouraged her interest in fiction writing and published her first novel, Hester’s History in serial form in his periodical Household Words. During her lifetime Rosa published over forty novels and also poetry, children’s stories and some history and biography. She became the wife of the historian Sir John Gilbert and after her husband’s death continued his work on The Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin. She also wrote his biography. Mulholland was Roman Catholic and her novels take as their subject the Catholic upper classes, a new departure in Irish fiction. Her later work becomes more nationalist in tone and she never shirked tackling major social concerns, such as emigration, illegitimacy and eviction. She died in 1921.
For further books by Rosa Mulholland, see the Dublin City Public Libraries catalogue.