1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maturin, Charles Robert

MATURIN, CHARLES ROBERT (1782–1824), Irish novelist and dramatist, was born in Dublin in 1782. His grandfather, Gabriel Jasper Maturin, had been Swift's successor in the deanery of St Patrick. Charles Maturin was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and became curate of Loughrea and then of St Peter's, Dublin. His first novels, The Fatal Revenge; or, the Family of Montorio (1807), The Wild Irish Boy (1808), The Milesian Chief (1812), were issued under the pseudonym of "Dennis Jasper Murphy." All these were mercilessly ridiculed, but the irregular power displayed in them attracted the notice of Sir Walter Scott, who recommended the author to Byron. Through their influence Maturin's tragedy of Bertram was produced at Drury Lane in 1816, with Kean and Miss Kelly in the leading parts. A French version by Charles Nodier and Baron Taylor was produced in Paris at the Théâtre Favart. Two more tragedies, Manuel (1817) and Fredolfo (1819), were failures, and his poem The Universe (1821) fell flat. He wrote three more novels, Women (1818), Melmoth, the Wanderer (1820), and The Albigenses (1824). Melmoth, which forms its author's title to remembrance, is the best of them, and has for hero a kind of "Wandering Jew." Honoré de Balzac wrote a sequel to it under the title of Melmoth réconcilié à l'église (1835). Maturin died in Dublin on the 30th of October 1824.