Mary O'Hara - Travels With My Harp (book info)

Page 1


The Complete Autobiography of Mary O’Hara

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR MARY O’HARA’S PREVIOUS BOOKS: The Scent of the Roses, A Song for Ireland and Celebration of Love: "A moving autobiography... she writes with a clean simplicity which is as accomplished as her singing. Ms O'Hara has applied her new found gift to the most intensely moving autobiography for many a year" John Paddy Browne THE IRISH POST "She tells her moving and surprisingly uplifting story honestly and even amusingly... Her account of life in a nunnery is fascinating, her courage and faith are amazing" Graham Lord THE SUNDAY TIMES "A lady who is as adept with the pen as she is with the lilting cadences of an Irish song" Tim Cromer CORK EXAMINER "Like everything Mary O’Hara does, this book has on it her special personal touch drawn from her own wide experience" THE BOOKSELLER





The Complete Autobiography of

Mary O’Hara

Tel +44 [0] 20 8533 5800

e-mail: info


Mary O’Hara won global acclaim as a soprano and harpist. Her recordings sold by their millions and in her concerts and television shows audiences worldwide were thrilled by the warmth of her personality. Yet behind this public success lay a personal tragedy.


Born in the west of Ireland and educated in a convent school, she became a singing star at the age of 16. She fell in love with a young America poet Richard Selig but their marriage only lasted 15 months before his tragic death. Overwhelmed by grief, Mary continued to sing while searching for a convent in which to live the remainder of her life in prayer and silence. She found the answer at the strict Benedictine monastery of Stanbrook in the West Midlands.


May 2012

234 x 156mm 336pp Plus 16pp Illustrations; Index.

DISTRIBUTED IN EUROPE by Central Books Ltd 99 Wallis Road LONDON E9 5LN Tel +44 [0] 20 8986 4854 Fax +44 [0] 20 8533 5821 created: 2012-01-05

Twelve years later, spiritually enriched but fragile in health, she emerged and restarted her career, winning even wider praise on her worldwide tours. She had her own season at the London Palladium, appeared on the Royal Variety Show, sang in all the major concert halls in the English-speaking world and made frequent guest appearances on television chat shows. Her television shows Minstrel of the Dawn and Mary O’Hara and Friends drew viewers by the millions. Pressed to tell her story, she wrote The Scent of the Roses, (Michael Joseph, 1980, Fontana, 1981) which quickly became a best seller. Travels with My Harp takes up the story with many amusing anecdotes from concert tours around the world, but also sheds new light on her earlier years. In 1994 she decided it was time to retire from the stage. Two years later a new life of undreamed of adventure and unexpected challenges opened up when her husband’s work (she remarried in 1985) took the couple first to Kenya and later Tanzania. The six years spent in Africa opened up a whole new world of rich, rewarding experiences, such as her work with children born with AIDS. She also discovered a new talent and the book is illustrated with a selection of her expressive sketches of African people she came to know. ‘Mary O’Hara’s life story is something only the most inspired press agent could ever hope to concoct’ New York Times ‘An aura of genius attends her, something indefinable which goes straight to the heart’ Evening Press, Dublin For over half a century Mary O’Hara’s voice has delighted audiences all over the world and her recordings continue to sell. Her story is an inspiring tale of triumph over tragedy, helped by her deep religious faith and the many friends she met during her career. Her story is recounted with warmth and humour in this updated version of her autobiography. She now lives with her husband on the Aran Islands off the West coast of Ireland, but still travels and lectures. Extensive Promotion to Press, Radio and TV


ISBN 978 0 85683 285 7

GB£ 25.00 / €30