Author: Rosa Lewis
Author: Rosa Lewis (born 1840)
Alternate Name(s): Dunn (maiden name); Mrs. L. L. Lewis (familiar name)
Biography: Rosa Lewis was born in 1840 in London, the daughter of the Irish actor John O'Donoghue (or Dunn, his stage name). In her youth, her family moved to Melbourne. She joined her father on stage and acted in numerous productions especially Shakespeare. In October 1863, she married the Melbourne businessman Louis Lucas Lewis. On her marriage, she gave up the stage. Her sister, Marian Dunn, married the author Marcus Clarke (1846–1881). Rosa and her brother-in-law maintained a clandestine affair under Marian's nose in the 1870s and after much agonizing decided to end their relationship. Rosa and her husband traveled several times to Europe and maintained a flourishing social life in Melbourne. She published one novel, Fatal Shadows (1887), about a deserted wife, and contributed two serials to the Melbourne Leader in the 1890s. Louis died in 1910 in Melbourne. After settling his estate, Rosa returned to England and died in 1920 in Eastbourne.
References: The Colonist (4 January 1911); DNB (Marcus Clarke); pers inf (Mimi Colligan)
- Fatal Shadows. 1 vol. Bristol: Arrowsmith, 1887.