Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Kate O'Brien (1) [1897–1974]

This page covers the author of The Land of Spices.

For other authors named Kate O'Brien, see the disambiguation page.

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
1,512 (1,978)3914,645 (3.85)60
The Land of Spices 299 copies, 7 reviews
That Lady 244 copies, 4 reviews
The Ante-Room 198 copies, 5 reviews
Mary Lavelle 193 copies, 4 reviews
Without My Cloak 183 copies, 9 reviews
The Last of Summer 101 copies, 2 reviews
Farewell Spain 56 copies
As Music and Splendour 45 copies, 2 reviews
The Flower of May 39 copies, 1 review
Teresa of Avila 30 copies, 2 reviews
My Ireland 8 copies
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Kate O'Brien was born in Limerick, Ireland. When she was five years old, her mother died, and she was sent to board at a convent school. She studied English and French at University College, Dublin, and after graduation moved to London. She worked as a governess in Spain, where she began to write, and then returned to England and got a job as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian. With the success of her 1926 play Distinguished Villa, she became a full-time writer. Her first novel, Without My Cloak (1931), won both the Hawthornden and James Tait Black prizes. The Ante-Room (1934) and The Land of Spices (1941), which explored themes of female sexuality, were banned in the Irish Free State. Her books Pray for the Wanderer (1938) and The Last of Summer (1943) criticized what she saw as the smug puritanism of her native country. Her most successful novel was the anti-fascist That Lady (1946). It was adapted as a Broadway play in 1949 and as a film in 1955. She returned to live in Ireland in 1950 but went back to England in 1965. In addition to novels and plays, she wrote film scripts, short stories, essays, two biographies, and very personal travelogues of Ireland and Spain.

Member ratings

Average: (3.85)
2 8
2.5 3
3 29
3.5 27
4 80
4.5 19
5 25

Author pictures (4)


(see all 4 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

"Kate O'Brien" is composed of at least 5 distinct authors, divided by their works. You can edit the division.

Name disambiguation

Go to the disambiguation page to edit author name combination and separation.


Kate O'Brien is composed of 4 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 173,886,440 books! | Top bar: Always visible