Patricia Lynch was born in Cork, Ireland and became the author of some 48 novels and 200 short stories.
Lynch received her education at schools in Ireland, England, Scotland and Belgium. She became a journalist and in 1916 was sent to Dublin by Sylvia Pankhurst to report on the Easter Rising for The Workers' Dreadnought. Although a committed Irish nationalist, she retained a London accent to the end of her life.
Lynch married socialist historian R. M. Fox in Dublin on 31 October 1922 and they settled in Glasnevin. She died in Monkstown, County Dublin on 1 September 1972 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery with her husband. Her semi-autobiographical A Story-Teller's Childhood was published in 1947.
Phil Young's biography, Patricia Lynch, Storyteller was published in 2005.
Patricia Lynch is best known for The Turf-Cutter's Donkey, first published in 1934. This story concerns Seamus and Eileen, an enchanted teapot and the little grey donkey, Long Ears. The children meet a leprechaun, a golden eagle, the Salmon of Knowledge and Finn on their adventure. A few sequels followed.
Another series of hers is the Brogeen series, a fantasy children's book series. In this series, Brogeen is the name of the main character in the book, a leprechaun who keeps running away from his home. It has been read on radio and released as a puppet theatre series on Irish TV.
The Bookshop on the Quay is her best-known non-fantasy book. It tells the story of Shane from the country who learns the trade of bookselling at The Four Masters Bookshop in Dublin. The book was read on Jackanory.
Lynch's literature, always morally simple, remains praised for its otherworldly depictions of life in the west of Ireland. Her protagonists often encounter characters from Irish folklore, and speak a Gaelicised English reminiscent of Lady Gregory's Kiltartan.
Marcus Crouch in The Nesbit Tradition describes Lynch's work as "the richest and most heart-warming of family stories." He particularly mentions the fantasy The Grey Goose of Kilnevin and the "homely adventure" Fiddler's Quest.
Her works had many different illustrators, including the renowned artists John Butler Yeats (The Turf-Cutter's Donkey) and Sean Keating (The Grey Goose of Kilnevin).