St John Ervine (St John Greer Ervine) Biography
(1883–1971), (St John Greer Ervine), Mixed Marriage, John Ferguson, Jane Clegg, The First Mrs Fraser
Northern Irish dramatist, born in Belfast of a long-established Ulster family. He made the province the setting of some of his earlier plays, among them Mixed Marriage (1911), about the love of an Orangeman for a Catholic girl, and John Ferguson (1915), about a fundamentalist Protestant farmer whose powerful faith is challenged by his daughter's seduction and the murder of the seducer by his son. Among Ervine's other works for the stage were Jane Clegg (1913), about a strong woman's marriage to a feckless philanderer; The First Mrs Fraser (1929), a drawing-room comedy which brought him his first substantial success in London's West End; and Robert's Wife (1937), about a woman doctor's battle to open a birth-control clinic. Ervine also practised as a drama critic in London and New York and published several novels and biographies, including Bernard Shaw: His Life, Work and Friends (1956).