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Somerville and Ross

An Irish Cousin, Naboth's Vineyard, The Real Charlotte, Some Experiences of an Irish RM

irish edith stories house

joint pseudonym of Anglo-Irish novelists Edith Oenone Somerville (18581949), born in Corfu and brought up at Castle-townshend, Co. Cork, and Violet Florence Martin (18621915), born at Ross House, Co. Galway. They collaborated on around thirty books, most of which were set in Ireland; which of them held the pen was ‘wholly fortuitious’, Edith later wrote. Their first novel, An Irish Cousin (1889), was followed by many others, including Naboth's Vineyard (1891) and The Real Charlotte (1894), about the rivalry between Francie Fitzpatrick, a beautiful Dublin girl, and the malevolent Charlotte Mullen, set against a background of Ireland's Great Houses. Some Experiences of an Irish RM (1899), a collection of stories in which the Anglo-Irish ‘resident magistrate’, Major Yeates, confronts the eccentricities of rural Irish life and indulges his passion for hunting, achieved widespread popularity. It was followed by a sequel, Further Experiences of an Irish RM (1908) and by a third volume of stories, In Mr Knox's Country (1915). Other collections of stories and occasional pieces include All on the Irish Shore (1903) and Some Irish Yesterdays (1906). After Violet's death, Edith commemorated their friendship in Irish Memories (1917) and continued to publish novels under their joint name, including Mount Music (1919), An Enthusiast (1921), and The Big House at Inver (1925).

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