About the Author
Painter, etcher, lyric poet, musical composer, novelist, and dramatist! Such an enumeration of accomplishments seldom falls to the lot of one man. Yet these were all fairly won by Samuel Lover, a brilliant, modest, self-reliant Irishman. Samuel Lover, born in Dublin in 1797, went to Dublin University. He fled his father's stockbroking office and became an accomplished miniaturist and marine painter until failing eyesight forced him to abandon that craft. First published in 1842, Handy Andy was, according to The Dublin Monitor, "Decidedly the best story of the day, full of frolic, genuine fun, and exquisite touches of Irish humour". A series of sketches depicting life in Ireland in the mid-19th century with the hero, Handy Andy being faced with a number of situations in which he always made the wrong decision -or at least -his actions were always met with failure. Tales of Andy Rooney and his Irish country life and the peasantry. Lover produced a number of Irish songs, of which several, including The Angel's Whisper, Molly Bawn, and The Four-Leaved Shamrock, attained great popularity. He also wrote some novels, of which Rory O' More (in its first form a ballad), and Handy Andy are the best known, and short Irish sketches, which, with his songs, he combined into a popular entertainment called Irish Nights. He joined with Dickens in founding Bentley's Magazine, and he was the founder of the Dublin University Magazine. Originally published in 1880, this biography was written by a close personal friend who was given access by Mrs. Lover to her late husband's correspondence and manuscripts, together with such information and explanations as she alone could furnish.