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Standish James O'Grady (1846-1928) was an Irish author, journalist, and historian. His father was the Reverend Thomas O'Grady, the scholarly Church of Ireland minister of Castletown Berehaven, County Cork. He was a cousin of Standish Hayes O'Grady, another noted figure in Celtic literature. After a rather severe education at Tipperary Grammar School, O'Grady followed his father to Trinity College, Dublin, where he won several prize medals and distinguished himself in several sports. He proved too unconventional of mind to settle into a career in the church, and qualified as a lawyer, though earning much of his living by writing for the Irish newspapers. However, a chance discovery of a book of Celtic literature inspired him. After an initial lukewarm response to his writing on the legendary past in History of Ireland: Heroic Period (1878-81) and Early Bardic Literature, Ireland (1879), he realized that the public wanted romance, and so followed the example of James McPherson in recasting Irish legends in literary form, producing historical novels including The Coming of Cuculain (1894), The Chain of Gold (1895) and The Flight of the Eagle (1897).
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