O'Shaughnessy, Arthur (1844 - 1881)

Index to poems

  1. Ode

Born on March 14, 1844, in London, Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy earned his living in the Natural History Department of the British Museum, which he joined as a junior assistant in the Department of Printed Books in June 1861. He eventually became a valued expert on reptiles. O'Shaughnessy published four volumes of poetry, in 1870, 1872, 1874, and posthumously in 1881. His most enduring poem, known from its first line, "We are the music makers," was later set to music by Edward Elgar and Zoltán Kodály. O'Shaughnessy married Eleanor Marston in 1873, with whom he wrote Toy-land, a book of children's stories. Their two children died shortly after birth. She died in 1879, just two years before he did.

  • G., R. [biography] Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. XIV: 1202-03.
  • Moulton, Louise Chandler. Arthur O'Shaughnessy: his Life and his Work with Selections from his Poems. London: E. Mathews and J. Lane, 1894. PR 5115 O4A6 1894 Robarts Library
  • O'Shaughnessy, Arthur William Edgar. Epic of Women. New York: Garland, 1978. PR 5115 O4E65 Robarts Library
  • --. Music and Moonlight: Poems and Songs. London: Chatto and Windus, 1874. 11649.aaa.53 British Library (copy of F. Palgrave). PR 5115 O4M8 Robarts Library
  • --. Poems. Ed. William Alexander Percy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1923. PR 5115 .O4A17 1923 Robarts Library
  • --. Songs of a Worker. London: Chatto and Windus, 1881. PR 5115 O4S6 Robarts Library
Given Name: 
Arthur William Edgar
Family Name: 
Birth Date: 
March 14, 1844
Death Date: 
January 30, 1881
Family Relations: 
wife : Eleanor O'Shaughnessy (from 1873)
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Literary Period: 
Literary Movement: 
Cause of Death: 
Buried At: 
First RPO Edition: