[Sir] William Howard Russell (1820-1907)

Criticism

Life
b. Tallaght, Co. Dublin, ed. TCD, and Middle Temple; became first active-service war-correspondent; covered the Repeal movement in Ireland (1841), and reported for The Times on O'Connell's monster meetings and subsequent trial and conviction in Dublin, 1843; the Crimean War, for the Times, giving an account of the Charge of the Light Brigade ‘rushing to death’ on , 15 Nov. 185[4]; later travelled to see the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny (1858);
 
he covered the American Civil War, 1861, and the Franco-Prussian War, 1870, as well as the Zulu War, 1879; founded Army and Navy Gazette; issued The Adventures of Dr. Brady (1868), a novel supposedly based on events in the Crimea; commissioned by Tinsley, it proved a failure; H. Bentley edited Dispatches from the Crimea, 1854-56 (1970); there is a BBC radio adaptation of his war reports, and a dedicatory collection by Ciaran Carson (Breaking News, 2003). DIB ODNB SUTH
 

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Criticism
See Charles Lysaght, ed., Great Irish Lives [Times Books] (London: HarperCollins 2008), Introduction, p.xi-xii.

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References
Justin McCarthy, Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904); selects extract entitled ‘Balaclava and the Charge of the Light Brigade.’

John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Harlow: Longmans 1988); describes Russell as notable for his impartiality; notes that The Adventures of Dr. Brady (1868), an somewhat autobiographical novel of a Irish military surgeon in Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, commissioned for 1,300 by Tinsley’s Magazine (August 1867), proved a failure since the author spent 2 of 3 vols. on the hero’s youth rather than the events concerned.

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Notes
Lola Montez [q.v.] quotes a lengthy passage in Adventures of Mrs. Seacole, edited by ‘no less a literary man than the gifted correspondent of the London Times, W. H. Russell, Esq.’, which relates how she horse-whips an American in the street - and then goes on to refute the story with reference to her accoutrements, his unfamiliarity with the place named and other details. (See Autobiography in Lectures, 1858, pp.50-51.)

Portrait by Louis Dickinson, Times Publ. Co. (see Anne Crookshank, Irish Portraits Exhibition, Ulster Mus. 1965).

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