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Somerville and Ross

irish edith deal ireland

(Edith Oenone Somerville, Irish, 1858–1949, and Violet Florence Martin, Irish, 1852–1915)

Somerville and Ross were second cousins; Edith was actually born in Corfu, moving with her parents to Ireland as a young child. The two met in Co. Cork, where they formed a lifelong writing partnership. Probably their most famous works are Some Experiences of an Irish RM (1899), short stories which deal with the bumbling new English Resident Magistrate, Major Yeates, and his goings-on with the local Munster community. The romping hilarity is created by the antics he is embroiled in by his landlord/‘Man Friday’, Flurry Knox. Their other novels deal with Anglo-Irish relations in rural Ireland, but tackle the same subject in very different ways. The Real Charlotte (1894) features a magnificent female protagonist, Charlotte, who, while detestable, is a joy to follow as she manipulates and ruins everyone who gets in the way of her financial or marriage schemes.

Jennifer Johnston, Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen. See IRELAND  CJ

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