Mary Elizabeth McGrath was born in Dungarvan in 1840. In 1849 her family emigrated to Quincy, Massachusetts where her father set up a marble works. He was described as 'a man of scholarly tastes and extensive reading.' Mary Elizabeth was educated at home as a young girl. She attended the Quincy High School and George B. Emerson's private school in Boston. She studied music and languages at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Manhattanville New York. In 1865 she married Dr. John G. Blake of Boston. They had eleven children.
As a teenager her poems and stories were published in The Pilot under the pen name 'Marie'. Later on she contributed work to the Boston Gazette and other Boston dailies. She was often commissioned to write special commemorative poems. As well as articles published in numerous papers and periodicals she also wrote the following books:- 'Poems' in 1882, 'On the Wing' in 1883, 'The Merry Months All' 1885, 'Youth in Twelve Centuries', 1886. She co-authored 'Mexico: Picturesque, Political, Progressive', in 1888 with Margaret F. Sullivan of Chicago. They also published a book on their travels in Europe.
Mary Elizabeth died on 26 February 1907.
Author: William Fraher