Lever, Charles James (lēˈvər) [key], 1806–72, Irish novelist. He began his career as a practicing physician. His early novels appeared periodically in the Dublin University Magazine, whose editorship he assumed in 1842. A prolific writer, Lever is best known for his farcical picaresque novels of Irish military life, notably Harry Lorrequer (1839) and Charles O'Malley (1841). In his later work he became more serious and his novels more carefully constructed, but he diminished in popularity.