Donn Byrne, novelist and short-story writer, is born

On the 20th of November 1889

Donn Byrne, novelist and short-story writer, is born

Donn Byrne (born Brian Oswald Patrick Donn-Byrne, 20 November 1889 – 18 June 1928) was an Irish novelist.

He was born in New York City in the United States where, he claimed, his Irish parents were on a business trip at the time, and soon after returned with them to Ireland. He grew up in Camlough, County Armagh, and was equally fluent in Irish and English.

Birth and Early Life

Donn Byrne was born to Irish immigrant parents. His birth name was Brian Oswald Patrick Donn-Byrne.

Irish Heritage

Despite being born in the United States, Byrne identified strongly with his Irish heritage. This connection often influenced his literary works.

Literary Career

Donn Byrne became known for his poetry and novels. Some of his notable works include “Messer Marco Polo,” “Field of Honor,” and “Hangman’s House.”

Military Service

During World War I, Byrne served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. His military experiences influenced his writings, and he often drew upon his observations of war.

Later Life

After the war, Byrne continued his literary career. He spent time in Ireland and traveled extensively. However, his life was tragically cut short.


Donn Byrne died on June 18, 1928, in New York City at the age of 38. The circumstances of his death involved a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the event was widely reported in the media.


Despite his relatively short life, Donn Byrne left a legacy of literary works that reflected his romantic and adventurous spirit. His novels often explored themes of love, honor, and heroism.

Donn Byrne’s writings gained popularity during the early 20th century, and his works continued to be read and studied by those interested in Irish-American literature and historical fiction.


  • The Stranger’s Banquet (1919)
  • The Foolish Matrons (1920)
  • Messer Marco Polo (1922)
  • The Wind Bloweth (1922) (illustrated by George Bellows)
  • Blind Raftery and His Wife Hilaria (1924)
  • O’Malley of Shanganagh (1925), or An Untitled Story
  • Hangman’s House (1926)
  • Brother Saul (1927)
  • Crusade (1928)
  • Field of Honor (1929), or The Power of the Dog
  • A Party of Bacarat (1930), or The Golden Goat

Short story collections

Doherty, 1997, provides a complete index of the short stories.

  • Stories Without Women (And A Few With Women) (1915)
  • Changeling, and Other Stories (1923)
  • Destiny Bay (1928)
  • Rivers of Damascus, and Other Stories (1931)
  • A Woman of the Shee, and Other Stories (1932), or Sargasso Sea, and Other Stories [6]
  • The Island of Youth, and Other Stories (1933)
  • An Alley of Flashing Spears, and Other Stories (1934)
  • A Daughter of the Medici, and Other Stories (1935)
  • The Hound of Ireland, and Other Stories (1935)

Poetry and Travelogue

  • Ireland, The Rock Whence I Was Hewn (1929)
  • Poems (1934)
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