Ruth Dudley Edwards

Life
1944- ; b. Dublin; dg. of Robert Dudley Edwards [q.v.]; author of Atlas of Irish History (1973, 2nd edn. 1981); The Triumph of Failure (1977), a biography of Patrick Pearse (The Triumph of Failure, 1977) - incorporating the view that Patrick Pearse was a latent homosexual - a view afterwards aired in an Insights documentary on Pearse (RTÉ 1979); also issued James Connolly (1981), biography; has written numerous detective novels incl. Corridors of Death (1982), The Saint Valentine’s Day Murders (1984), Matricide at St Martha’s (1994), and Murder in the Cathedral (1996) - set in ‘Westenbury’ cathedral, and Carnage on the Committee (2002), her tenth; the author describes herself as intellectually English but temperamentally Irish; received a settlement of £25,000 from the publishers arising from comments in Tim Pat Coogan’s book Wherever Green is Worn, Dec. 2000; issued The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of The Irish Republic (Oneworld 2017).

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Works
Non-fiction, Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure (London: Gollancz 1977, 1979; reiss. to 2006), xvii, 384pp. + 8pp.[facs. ports]; rep. edn. (Dublin: Poolbeg 1990), xv, 384pp.; rep. edn. (Dublin: IAP 2006), 408pp., ill.; An Atlas of Irish History (London: Methuen 1973), 286pp., and Do. [2nd edn.], 1980); True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office (London: BBC Books 1994). ... The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of The Irish Republic (Oneworld 2017).

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Fiction, [R. D. Edwards,] Clubbed to Death (Gollancz 1992), [detective fiction] 190pp.; also Matricide at St Martha’s [Collins Crime] (Collins 1994); Ten Lords A-Leaping [Collins Crime] (Collins 1995); Murder in the Cathedral (London: HarperCollins 1996); Publish and Be Murdered (London: HarperCollins 1997), 224pp.; Ruth Dudley Edwards, Carnage on the Committee (London: HarperCollins 2002; 2003), 224pp.

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Miscellaneous, Review of Elaine Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots: St Enda’s and the Cult of Boyhood, in The Irish Times, Weekend, 3 July 2004, p.10 [see extract].

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Criticism
‘Murderess’, review of A Talent to Deceive, by Robert Barnard (Irish Press, 1 Metheamh [June] 1980). See also interview in Declan Burke, ed., Down These Green Streets: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century (Dublin: Liberties Press 2011).

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Commentary
Orna Mulcahy, reviewing Ruth Dudley Edwards, The Anglo-Irish Murders (London: HarperCollins), in The Irish Times [Weekend] (3 Nov. 2001), obviously doesn’t share the writers viewpoint and called a ‘rather ridiculous romp’ set in an Irish castle, somewhere out west, done up as a hotel and made the venue for a conference on Irish cultural sensitivities; Baroness Jack Troutbeck is a ‘cross between Mo Mowlam and Maggie Thatcher, chairs the conference; attempts to seduce Aisling, the pretty young interpreter; ‘huge cast’; ‘luckily half the cast get murdered’ (Mulcahy).

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Quotation
That man Pearse - review of Elaine Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots: St Enda’s and the Cult of Boyhood, in The Irish Times, Weekend (3 July 2004): Speaks of being prompted to write Patrick Pearse’s biography by Terence de Vere White when the family papers became available at Pearse’s sister’s death in the 1970s. Further: ‘During the research and writing, I became fond of and sorry for Pearse, who in many respects was an admirable and lovable human being. However, his flaws - most notably, recklessness with his own and other people’s money and lives - were deep and horribly destructive.’ Refers to reactions to her statement that the Provisional IRA were ‘the true heirs of Pearse’ and remarks that ‘the continuing hypocrisy of the Irish establishment about 1916 is unforgivable’, remarking that ‘Ireland was a democracy at the time [...].’ Also that Pearse, though chaste, was ‘exclusively turned on by young male beauty’. Commends Sisson’s book handling ‘the subject of Pearse’s sexuality sanely and sensitively [while] concluding that while he was not a practising paedophile, it was the innocent sublimation of his sexuality that eroticised his Macaoimh [cub scouts]’. (p.10.)

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