Edmund John Armstrong

Life
1841-1865; b. Dublin, 23 July; ed. TCD; President of History at TCD and good speaker; undergraduate career broken off due to ill-health; took walking holidays in Wicklow and France, and wrote on matters of nature and religion in a Tennysonian vein; subject incl. “Glandalough” and “Prisoner of Mont St. Mich[el]” a longer poem, based on journey to France; died of tuberculosis, 24 Feb.; his Poems were published posthumously with a preface by G. A. C. Chadwick (1865) and later reissued as Poetical Works in the same year as The Life and Letters (1877), both edited by his br. George Savage-Armstrong, Professor of English at Queen’s College, Cork, who continued to foster his reputation with collections such as Ballads of Down (1901) and Stories of Wicklow (1892). JMC ODNB DIW DIB MKA OCIL

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Works
Poems by the late Edmund J. Armstrong
(London: E. Moxon & Co. 1865), 335pp., pref. by ‘G. A. C[hadwick]’; George Francis Armstrong, ed., Essays and Sketches of Edmund J. Armstrong (London: Longmans & Co. 1877), vii, 306pp.; The Life and Letters of Edmund J. Armstrong (London: Longmans & Co. 1877), xviii, 565pp.; George Francis Armstrong, ed., The Poetical Works of Edmund J. Armstrong [new. edn.] (London: Longmans & Co. 1877), xiv. 466pp. [with port.]; Stories of Wicklow (1892); Ballads of Down (1901).

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References
Charles Read, ed., Cabinet of Irish Literature (3 vols., 1876-78), selects poems incl. such lines as, ‘Mary, like the young Aurora, / Shone amid the woods of Clorah; / Pride was in her stately mien.’

Dictionary of National Biography has an encomium derived from the memoir by George F. Savage Armstrong, brother of Edmund John Armstrong, to the effect that Edmund was a sensitive and religious young Protestant at TCD who suffered from ill-health and wrote nature poems, e.g., “Glandalough” and “Prisoner of Mont St. Michel” based on journey to France. President of Hist at TCD and good speaker; all promise.

John Cooke, Book of Irish Verse 1728-1909 (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis 1909) selectes “Among the Mountains”; “Sunset in the Devil’s Glen” [‘Dark and long the shadows growing, / Purpling o’er the Devil’s Glen’]; “A Dedication” [‘My land, my Erin, can we sing of thee / Save in that music ringing through thy vales’]; “A New Birth” [‘O let me bow / Submissive to Thy will!’].

British Library holds [1] Essays and Sketches of Edmund J. Armstrong. Edited by George Francis Armstrong.. pp. vii. 306. Longmans & Co.: London, 1877. 8o. [2] Poems by the late Edmund J. Armstrong. [With a preface signed: G. A. C.]. pp. lv. 335. E. Moxon & Co.: London, 1865. 8o. [3] The Life and Letters of Edmund J. Armstrong. Edited by George Francis Armstrong.. pp. xviii. 565. Longmans & Co.: London, 1877. 8o. [4] The Poetical Works of Edmund J. Armstrong. Edited by George Francis Armstrong. A new edition. [With a portrait.]. pp. xiv. 466. Longmans & Co.: London, 1877. 8o.

Belfast Central Library holds Poetical Works (1877) [“Prisoner” and “Mary of Clorah” excerpted in]; Ballads of Down (1901); Stories of Wicklow, poems (1892).

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