Margaret Wolfe Hungerford "The Duchess," 1855-1897
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who wrote under the name The Duchess, was an Irish author of popular romantic fiction. A widow, she supported her young family with her writing after the death of her first husband. She continued to write after her second marriage to Thomas Henry Hungerford, enjoying considerable success in Britain and the United States. She was the mother of six children, and died of typhoid at the age of 41.
Molly Bawn is The Duchess's most famous novel. Written in 1878, after the death of her first husband, it tells the story of a flirtatious young Irish woman. The Duchess is credited with coining the idiom "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" in Molly Bawn. James Joyce alludes to it in the final episode in Ulysses, which is told from the perspective of Molly Bloom, main character Leopold Bloom's wife.