Image of Regina Maria Roche


Lifetime: 1764 - 1845 Passed: ≈ 179 years ago





Regina Maria Roche

Regina Maria Roche is considered a minor Gothic novelist, encouraged by the pioneering Ann Radcliffe. However, she was a bestselling author in her own time. The popularity of her third novel, The Children of the Abbey, rivalled that of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Born Regina Maria Dalton in Waterford, Ireland in 1764. Her father, Blundel Dalton, was a captain in the British 40th Regiment. Her family moved to Dublin. After marrying Ambrose Roche in 1794, she moved to England.

Her first two novels were published under her maiden name, before the success of The Children of the Abbey and Clermont. Both were translated into French and Spanish and went through several editions. However, after her fifth novel, The Nocturnal Visit, appeared in 1800, Roche suffered financial difficulties, having fallen afoul of a duplicitous solicitor. She did not write again until 1807, when she received aid from the Royal Literary Fund. She then wrote 11 more novels, most of them set in rural Ireland. None of these matched her earlier successes. After her husband's death in 1829, she returned to Waterford.

After bouts of depression, Roche died in relative obscurity in her native town at the age of 81. The Gentleman's Magazine obituary calls her a "distinguished writer [who] had retired from the world and the world had forgotten her. But many young hearts, now old must remember the effect upon them of her graceful and touching compositions."

Books by Regina Maria Roche

The Children Of The Abbey Cover image

The Children Of The Abbey

Family Love Money Romance Loyalty Happiness Life

The Children of the Abbey is a novel by the Irish romantic novelist Regina Maria Roche. It first appeared in 1796, in London in 4 volumes, and related the tale of Amanda and Oscar Fitzalan, two siblings robbed of their rightful inheritance by a forge...