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Maurice Tiernay Soldier of Fortune   By: (1806-1872)

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By Charles James Lever

The Novels Of Charles Lever

Edited By His Daughter

Illustrations by A. D. M'Cormick


Downey And Co., Limited

12 York St. Covent Garden



'Maurice Tiernay was first published as a serial in 'The Dublin University Magazine,' commencing in the issue for April 1850, and ending in the issue for December 1851. It was first published in book form (as a volume of The Parlour Library) with the following title page (undated):

Maurice Tiernay The Soldier of Fortune By the Author of 'Sir Jasper Carew' etc. etc. I London, Thomas Hodgson, 13 Paternoster Bow.

The earliest edition which has Lever's name on the title page is one published in Leipzig in 1861. This edition has the following title page:

Maurice Tiernay the Soldier of Fortune, by Charles Lever, I Author of 'Charles O'Malley,' etc. I Copyright Edition. In two VOLUMES VOL. I. LEIPZIG BERNHARD TAUCH NITZ I 1861.


The strangeness of some of the incidents, and the rapidity with which events so remarkable succeeded each other, almost deterred the writer from ever committing them to the press; nor was it till after much consultation, and some persuasive influence on the part of friends, that he at length yielded and decided upon so doing. Whether in that determination his choice was a wise one, must be left to the judgment of the reader; for himself, he has but to say that to ponder over some of these early scenes, and turn over, in thought, some of his youthful passages, has solaced many a weary hour of an age when men make few new friendships, and have almost as few opportunities to cultivate old ones.

That the chief events related in these pages such, for instance, as every detail of the French invasion, the capture of Wolfe Tone, and the attack on Monte di Faccio are described with rigid exactness, the writer is most sincere in the expression of his conviction. For the truth of incident purely personal, it is needless to press any claim, seeing that the hero owns no higher name than that of A Soldier of Fortune.




Neither the tastes nor the temper of the age we live in are such as to induce any man to boast of his family nobility. We see too many preparations around us for laying down new foundations, to think it a suitable occasion for alluding to the ancient edifice. I will, therefore, confine myself to saying, that I am not to be regarded as a mere pretender because my name is not chronicled by Burke or Debrett. My great grandfather, after whom I am called, served on the personal staff of King James at the Battle of the Boyne, and was one of the few who accompanied the monarch on his flight from the field, for which act of devotion he was created a peer of Ireland, by the style and title of Timmahoo Lord Tiernay, of Timmahoo the family called it and a very rich sounding and pleasant designation has it always seemed to me.

The events of the time, the scanty intervals of leisure enjoyed by the king, and other matters, prevented a due registry of my ancestors' claims; and, in fact, when more peaceable days succeeded, it was judged prudent to say nothing about a matter which might revive unhappy recollections, and open old scores, seeing that there was now another king on the throne 'who knew not Joseph'; and so, for this reason and many others, my greatgrandfather went back to his old appellation of Maurice Tiernay, and was only a lord among his intimate friends and cronies of the neighbourhood.

That I am simply recording a matter of fact, the patent of my ancestors' nobility, now in my possession, will sufficiently attest: nor is its existence the less conclusive, that it is inscribed on the back of his commission as a captain in the Shanabogue Fencibles the well known 'Clear the way boy s' a proud title, it is said, to which they imparted a new reading at the memorable battle aforementioned... Continue reading book >>

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