Regina Maria Roche, née Dalton, was born in Waterford, Ireland and moved to Dublin as a child. She lived in England after her marriage in 1794. Her first two novels, The Vicar of Lansdowne (1789) and The Maid of the Hamlet (1793), were published under her maiden name. Her third novel, a sentimental Gothic romance called The Children of the Abbey (1796-97), rocketed her to fame and became one of the most popular novels of the period, rivaling The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe.
The Children of the Abbey
was translated into several languages, including French, German and Spanish. Mrs. Roche published Clermont: A Tale, in 1798, but then experienced financial troubles and did not write again until 1807, when she received aid from the Royal Literary Fund. She wrote about 10 more novels, most set in rural Ireland, but none matched her earlier successes. She returned to her native country in the 1820s and died in relative obscurity.