For the Liberty of Ireland, at Home and Abroad the Autobiography of J. F. X. O'Brien Jacket Image
List Price:
Discount Price:

For the Liberty of Ireland, at Home and Abroad the Autobiography of J. F. X. O'Brien

J. F. X. O'Brien (author)
Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
14th September 2010

Author Biography

J. F. X. O'Brien (1829?-1905) was a Fenian, imprisoned for his activities in 1867 but pardoned in 1869. He was a Home Rule MP and Treasurer of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1885 until 1905. Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Exeter. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire: Ireland, India and the Politics of Alfred Webb (2009) and articles on print and press history.


James Francis Xavier O'Brien is best known as a Fenian and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, but his autobiography reveals an exciting life of bohemian travel before he entered nationalist politics. Born in Waterford, the young O'Brien studied in Paris, where he befriended artist James McNeill Whistler, left to join William Walker's military campaign in Nicaragua, then settled in the cosmopolitan city of New Orleans on the eve of the American Civil War. He describes in detail his return to Ireland, his leadership in the Fenian insurrection of 1867 and subsequent imprisonment, and his conversion to constitutional nationalism and election to Parliament. Written between 1895 and 1897, the autobiography offers a defence of O'Brien's political journey when competing factions were fighting for Irish nationalist hearts and minds. The autobiography is published here for the first time, edited and with a critical introduction by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre.