Lever, Charles James

Lever, Charles James

(lē`vər), 1806–72, Irish novelist. He began his career as a practicing physician. His early novels appeared periodically in the Dublin University Magazine, whose editorship he assumed in 1842. A prolific writer, Lever is best known for his farcical picaresque novels of Irish military life, notably Harry Lorrequer (1839) and Charles O'Malley (1841). In his later work he became more serious and his novels more carefully constructed, but he diminished in popularity.

Lever, Charles James


Born Aug. 31, 1806, in Dublin; died June 1, 1872, in Trieste. Irish author. Son of an architect; doctor by profession.

Lever graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1827 and studied at the Universities of Göttingen and Louvain. His novel The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer appeared in 1837. The novels Charles O’Malley, the Irish Dragoon (1841) and Jack Hinton, Guardsman (1843) humorously depicted the life of the military and the Dublin aristocracy; Tom Burke of “Ours” (vols. 1–2, 1843–44) and The O’Donoghue: A Tale of Ireland 50 Years Ago (1845) gave realistic descriptions of Irish society. Lever’s novels Barrington (1862) and Luttrell of Arran (1865; Russian translation 1866), on the life of the peasants and the petite bourgeoisie, were rich in detail and contained elements of social criticism.


The Novels, vols. 1–37. London, 1897–99.


Fitzpatrick, W. J. The Life of Charles Lever, vols. 1–2. London, 1879.
Downey, E. Charles Lever: His Life in His Letters, vols. 1–2. [London] 1906.
Stevenson, L. Doctor Quicksilver, the Life of Charles Lever. London, 1939.


Mentioned in ?