Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ryan, Richard

RYAN, RICHARD (1796–1849), biographer, born in 1796, was son of Richard Ryan, a bookseller in Camden Town, who died before 1830 (cf. Gent. Mag. 1830, pt. i.). Ryan seems to have followed the business of a bookseller, but found time to write several interesting books, a few plays, and some songs which were set to music by eminent composers. His plays—‘Everybody's Husband,’ a comic drama in one act; ‘Quite at Home,’ a comic entertainment in one act; and ‘Le Pauvre Jacques,’ a vaudeville in one act, from the French—are printed in J. Cumberland's ‘Acting Plays,’ 1825. Ryan died in 1849.

Besides the works mentioned, he published

  1. ‘Eight Ballads on the Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry,’ 8vo, London, 1822.
  2. ‘Biographia Hibernica, a Biographical Dictionary of the Worthies of Ireland, from the earliest periods to the present time,’ 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1819–21.
  3. ‘Poems on Sacred Subjects,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1824.
  4. ‘Dramatic Table Talk, or Scenes, Situations, and Adventures, serious and comic, in Theatrical History and Biography, with engravings,’ 3 vols. 12mo, London, 1825.
  5. ‘Poetry and Poets, being a Collection of the choicest Anecdotes relative to the Poets of every age and nation, illustrated by engravings,’ 3 vols. 12mo, London, 1826.

[Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit. vol. iii.; O'Donoghue's Poets of Ireland, p. 220.]

D. J. O'D.