The circumstances surrounding Lafcadio Hearn's life and work impart a particular interest and charm to his correspondence. He was, as he himself imagined, unfitted by personal defect from being looked upon with favour in general society. This idea, combined with innate sensitive shyness, caused him, especially towards the latter years of his life, to become more or less of a recluse, and induced him to seek an outlet in intellectual commune with literary comrades on paper.
led in Malta, intermarrying with the original Venetian Maltese.
"We are all compounds of innumerable lives, each a sum in an infinite addition--the dead are not dead, they live in all of us, and move us, stirring faintly in every heart beat." Certainly Lafcadio was an exemplification of his own theory. During the course of his strange life all the characteristics of his manifold outcome manifested themselves--the nomadic instincts of the Romany and Arab, the revolutionary spirit of the Celt, the luxuriant imagination of the oriental, with that unquenchable spark of industry and energy inherited from his Anglo-Saxon forbears.
From the time they settled in Ireland the Hearns served their country for the most part in church and army. Lafcadio's grandfather was colonel of the 43rd Regiment, which he commanded at the battle of Vittoria in the Peninsular War. He married Elizabeth Holmes, member of a family distinguished in Irish legal and literary circles. To her children she bequeathed musical and ar