Charles James Lever, an Irish novelist, born in Dublin, Aug. 31, 1806, died in Trieste, June 1, 1872. He was educated as a physician, studying first at Trinity college and afterward in Gottingen. In 1832, during the prevalence of the cholera in Ireland, he was appointed medical superintendent of an extensive district comprising Londonderry and other places, and treated the disease with remarkable success. In March, 1834, he sent the first chapters of " The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer " to the "Dublin University Magazine." As the tale became more popular each month, he worked with renewed energy, but kept his secret from even his brother. Notwithstanding its success, he did not at first think of adopting letters as a profession, but continued his medical practice till 1837, when he received the appointment of physician to the British embassy at Brussels. Here he finished "Harry Lorrequer," and accepting as true the favorable judgment of the public concerning it, he adopted the title as his pseudonyme, and devoted himself to literature. This work, remarkable for vivacity and rollicking humor, fulness of incident, ever-shifting scenes, and happy pictures of Irish life and manners, was the precursor of a large number of novels distinguished chiefly by the same characteristics.
In many of these the incidents and characters are connected with the military profession, and the favorite type of a hero is a young dragoon or guardsman full of animal spirits and love of adventure, not a few of whose exploits are said to be founded on the personal experience of the author, who in his youth was noted for his daring spirit and his skill in riding and breaking horses. In March, 1840, "Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon," was begun in the " Dublin University Magazine." In April, 1842, Lever accepted the editorship of the magazine, and fixed his residence in the neighborhood of Dublin; but after three years the work became distasteful to him on account of the political strife engendered by the position, and he resigned and retired to the continent. After spending a short time in the Tyrol, he established himself in Florence. In 1858 he was appointed by Lord Derby vice consul at Spezia, and in 1867 was transferred to Trieste as consul, which post he held until his death. The university of Dublin conferred on him the degree of LL. D. in 1871. Lever's later works exhibit a marked improvement over his earlier productions, being more artistic and thoughtful, and less dependent on startling incidents. Some of them contain admirable sketches of character.
His principal novels are: "Harry Lorrequer" (1840); "Charles O'Malley" (1841); "Jack Hinton" (1843); "Tom Burke of Ours" (1844); "Arthur O'Leary" (1844); "The O'Donoghue" (1845); "St. Patrick's Eve "(1845); "Tales of the Trains" (1845); "The Knight of Gwynne" (1847); "Diary and Notes of Horace Templeton" (1849);
"Roland Cashel" (1849); "The Daltons" (1852); "TheDodd Family Abroad" (1854); "Maurice Tiernay " (1855); "Sir Jasper Care w" (1855); "Con Oregan, the Irish Gil Blas "(1857); " Glencore and his Fortunes" (1857); " The Martins of Cro' Martin " (1859); " Davenport Dunn " (1859); " Gerald Fitzgerald " (I860); "One of Them" (1861); "A Day's Ride" (1861); "Barrington" (1862); "Luttrell of Arran" (1865); "Sir Brooke Fossbrooke" (1867); "The Bramleighs of Bishop's Folly" (1868); "That Boy of Nor-cott's " (1869); " Paul Gosslett's Confessions " (1870); "A Rent in the Cloud " (1870); and "Lord Kilgobbin " (1872). He was the author also of a number of shorter stories and of several unacknowledged works.