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Shan Bullock Biography

(1865–1935), By Thrasna River: The Story of a Townland, The Squireen, The Loughsiders

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Bridgnorth Shropshire to Anthony Burgess [John Anthony Burgess Wilson Burgess] Biography

Northern Irish novelist, born in Crom, Co. Fermanagh, educated at Farra School, Co. Westmeath; he was the son of a prosperous Protestant farmer and a bailiff to a large Fermanagh estate. He grew up with first-hand experience of the effects of economic and sectarian division in rural Ulster, an experience he reflected in most of his novels, including By Thrasna River: The Story of a Townland (1895), The Squireen (1903), and The Loughsiders (1924). After leaving school, Bullock went to London and spent the rest of his life working for the civil service. He recorded aspects of what he saw as a numbing and emasculating existence in his novel Robert Thorne: The Story of a London Clerk (1907). Bullock's novels are conspicuously autobiographical, and just as Robert Thorne longs to return to Ulster, his creator consistently wrote about the land and the farmers of his native Fermanagh. An exception is Thomas Andrews, Shipbuilder (1912), his novel concerning the building of the Titanic in the Belfast shipyards. Benedict Kiely has noted that Bullock was the last Irish writer to witness a rural community whose life revolved around ‘the Big House’, a privilege which Bullock exploits valuably in his autobiography, After Sixty Years (1931).

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