T.P. O’Connor and the New Journalism

Frederick Nesta
University College London – Qatar

T.P. O’Connor (1848-1929) was a journalist and Member of Parliament from 1880 until his death in 1929. He founded found the Star (1888-1924), the Weekly Sun (1891-1893) and the Sun (1893-1906) M.A.P. (Mainly about People, 1898-1911) and T.P.s Weekly (1902-1916). An Irish nationalist, a radical journalist, a persuasive speaker, he was one of the founders of the ‘New Journalism’ that tried to present not just facts but also to convey the personalities and moods of the times. The paper presents an overview of O’Connor’s life and work in journalism. It would also look at the life and contributions of his wife, Elizabeth Paschal O’Connor (c. 1850-1931), an American journalist and widowed mother in 1870’s New York, who moved to London after marrying O’Connor and who became a Suffragette. Her books on her homeland, the American south, on Ireland and the Irish cause; and an autobiography demonstrate her own skills in giving life to facts and in creating for us today a time long gone. Although neither are remembered today, their comings and goings made headlines in British and American newspapers until their deaths. A bust of T.P. O’Connor is still to be seen in Fleet Street, the only other journalist besides William Thomas Stead to share such an honour.

Newspapers and Periodicals in Britain and Ireland from 1800 to 1900