Alice Curtayne


By Caroline Bowen

Alice Curtayne was born on November 6th 1898 in Co. Kerry, Ireland. She was educated at St Anne’s Southampton, England. In 1935 she married Stephen Rynne and had two sons and two daughters. She was a successful author and critic, and during her lifetime, she wrote many books and worked for several newspapers.

Her work includes:

St. Catherine of Siena (1929); her first book.

An amazing story about Saint Catherine who worked many miracles. She succeeded in bringing the Papacy from France back to Rome, and in the process, brought thousands of souls to Christ.

Labours in the Vineyard (1930)

A translation from the Italian  by Giovanni Papini

St Patrick, Apostle of Ireland  (with illustrations) (1931)

Saint Anthony of Padua (1932)

Borne of the Wind (essays) (1933)

Saint Columcille: the dove of the church (1934?)

Patrick Sarsfield (1934)

Biography on Irish Catholic hero Patrick Sarsfield who fought in the Battle of the Boyne.

Jean-Baptiste Debrabant (1936)

House of Cards (a novel) (1940)

Lough Derg : St. Patrick’s purgatory (1944)

St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order (1953)

The Trial of Oliver Plunkett (1953)

This book is a “historical essay” on St. Patrick’s Purgatory.

Saint Brigid of Ireland (1954)

A biography of the Irish saint who lived around 524 A.D.

Irish Saints for boys and girls (Alice Curtayne and Eileen Coughlan) (1955)

Twenty Tales of Irish Saints (1955)

A delightful collection of fictional-tales about the saints.

More Tales of Irish Saints (1957)

The Irish Story; a survey of Irish history and culture (1960)

A Recall to Dante (1969)

Alice shows her “deep knowledge of Italian religious and literary history”.

Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet (1887-1917) (1972)

This biography tells the remarkable lifestory of a gifted Irish poet.

The Complete poems of Francis Ledwidge (1974)

Alice not only wrote books, but she also contributed regularly to several newspapers, including the popular publication The Capuchin Annual, which was published every year in Dublin from 1930 to 1977.

Alice was a lecturer and a frequent visitor at Anna Maria College, Paxton Massachusetts, which in 1959, awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. She was also presented with the Key to Worcester City by Mayor James D. O’Brien.

The Irish Press sent Alice to Rome in December 1954 to write daily reports on the close of  the Marian Year. In addition, she sent weekly reports to the local newspapers The Carlow Nationalist and The Kerryman.

Alice died in 1981 age 83 and was buried in Co. Kildare with her husband, Stephen Rynne.

Work Cited:

UCC Library


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