John H. Edge

Life
1841-1916 [John Henry]; land commissioner; An Irish Utopia (1906, 1910, 1915); The Quicksands of Life (1908); ‘Irish conservative without religious bias.’ IF

 

Works
An Irish Utopia, A Story of a Phase of the Land Problem [rep.] (Dublin: Combridge 1911) (iv), xxxvi, 1-301pp.

 

Commentary
Irish Utopia
(4th ed. 1915 [1st 1906]), preface includes material arguing for a pre-Christian origin of the Round Towers, as phallic; a defence of the petty gentry, or ‘middlemen’; and an encomium of “JKL” [Bishop Doyle], ‘the large hearted and broadminded Bishop Doyle ... strove earnestly, as I have explained in my book, to unite all Christians in his native land. He died without having accomplished his purpose [...]’ The setting is the valley of Avonmore.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography lists John Henry Edge (1841-1926) [chk]; an Indian Judge; member of judicial council of India, 1899-1908; ed. TCD.

Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists An Irish Utopia, A Story of a Phase of the Land Problem (1906, 1907, and 1915, 4th ed.) (1915), Wicklow and Shropshire, attempt to oust rightful heir, law suit; well-known lawyers, and Dr Doyle, JKL, are characters; conservative, but sympathising with certain Irish grievances. Quicksands (1908) contains ‘dishonest love intrigues’ against Land War background, not discussed, set in England and S. Ireland; Aristocracy shown in bad light, and some tributes to virtues of Irish peasantry.

Belfast Public Library holds Genealogical Memoirs of the Echlin family (n.d.); also Irish Utopia (4th ed. 1915 [1st 1906])

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