Marmion W. Savage

1805-1872 [Marmion Wilmo Savage; ‘M.W.S’; var. Wilme]; b. 22 Feb., son of Rev. Henry Savage, rector of Ardeen, co. Down; and former Sarah Bewley; ed. TCD, classics; Schol. 1822; BA 1824; contrib. Dublin University Magazine; Inner Temple, 1828; held Government post as first clerk of Council, Dublin Castle; auditor of the extern College Historical Society, 1829-30; m. Olivia Clarke (d.1843), neice of Lady Morgan, 1829; contrib. Amulet, Examiner, et al.; King’s Inns barrister; externe auditor, Dublin University Historical Society; clerk of council and usher and keepin of council chamber in Dublin Castle; author of satirical novels include The Falcon Family, or Young Ireland (1845), dealing with extremes of Young Ireland and the Tractarian movement; wrote Bachelor of Albany (1847), satirising Irish and English clergy; My Uncle the Curate (1849), on outworn manners and selfish conduct; Reuben Medlicott (1852), a satire on sensibility; centred on a changeful man of many occupations; The Woman of Business (1870), anti-Darwinian; Colver Cottage (1856), staged by Tom Taylor as Nine Pionts of the Law (London Olympia, 11 April 1959); rem. Narissa Rosava, 1856; removed to London; appointed [4th] ed. of The Examiner in 1856-59, and moved to London; moved to Torquay for reasons of health; d. 1 May; writings admired for ‘animated wit [and] literary flavour’. CAB ODNB PI ODNB DIW IF RAF SUTH OCIL

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The Falcon Family; or, Young Ireland (London: Chapman & Hall 1845); The Bachelor of the Albany (London: Chapman & Hall 1847); My Uncle the Curate, 3 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall 1849); Reuben Medlicott; or, The Coming Man, 3 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall 1852); ed., Richard Lalor Shiel, Sketches, Legal and Political 1791-1851 (London: Hurst & Blackett 1855); Clover Cottage (London: Chapman & Hall 1856); The Woman of Business; or, The Lady and the Lawyer, 3 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall 1870). Also, a poem in The Athenaeum (1844), p.405.

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Edith Batho & Bonamy Dobrée, The Victorians and After: 1835-1914 (London: Cresset 1962); Paralee Norman, ‘A Neglected Irish Novelist: Marmion W. Savage’, Books at Iowa, 35 (November 1981), pp.3-13; Paralee Norman, “Light Satire and Hogarth’s Pictorial Composition: Marmion Savage’s Novel The Falcon Family: Or, Young Ireland’, in Éire-lreland, 23 (Spring 1988), pp.129-43; Paralee Norman, ‘The Island of Higgledy-Piggledy: Marmion Savage’s My Uncle the Curate’, in Éire-lreland, 25 (Winter 1990): pp.93-110.

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Dictionary of National Biography: a caustic, brilliant skit on the seceders from the Repeal Association, when the physical force movement was emerging.

Ireland in Fiction, ed. Stephen Brown (Dublin: Maunsel 1919); 1805-1872; went to London in 1856; Bachelor of the Albany; My Uncle the Curate; Reuben Medlicott; A Woman of Business [or the Lady and the Lawyer, 3 Vol. (1870)]. IF lists, The Falcon Family (1845); Brown characterises Savage as a witty, clever novelist, v. popular in his day; cites John Mitchel review, styling his work as an example of Irish writing ‘calculated for the English market.’

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); Marmion Wilmo [sic] Savage, b.?1805; TCD schol. 1822; BA 1824; Government post; first clerk of Council, Dublin Castle; auditor of the extern College Historical Society, 1829-30; edited The Examiner, and The Annual Register; contrib. Dublin University Magazine; second [recte ?first] wife was niece of Lady Morgan; d. Torquay, 1 May; witty, pop. novelist, The Bachelor of the Albany; The Falcon Family; Reuben Medlicott; wrote for DUM; author of the phrase ‘Young Ireland’; play in Dublin in [?1847].

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. 2; b. Dublin, ed. TCD; govt. post; settled London, 1856; contrib. DUM, Annual Register and The Examiner. d. Torquay. Works as IF [supra], adding Clover Cottage, adapted for stage as Nine Points of the Law, com. (1856). SEE ALSO, Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, Vol 1 (1980), Extract from M Savage, The Falcon Family, 1845, in which the publisher of Mercury congratulates himself on a book about Ireland fabricated in London’s Irish region, with Welsh scenery, ‘There’s a morbid happetite, just now, for personal hobservation’. [206-07]

John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Harlow: Longmans 1988); b. Dublin, son of Protestant clergy; grad. TCD 1824, Dublin Castle clerk to council; contrib. DUM; wrote the Peacockian The Falcon Family or Young Ireland (1845), satirising physical force wing of the Young Ireland movement, and criticised as a ‘malignant libel on the people of Ireland’; reprinted, with witty preface; The Bachelor of the Albany (1847), his best work, a story of commercial doings of an English firm as they affect Mr. Baker, the bachelor of the title’s fashionable address; incidental satire of Oxford Movement; My Uncle the Curate (1849); Reuben Medlicott, or The Coming Man (1852); Colver Cottage (1856), novella successfully dramatised by Tom Taylor as Nine Points of the Law; The Women of Business (1870), a story of feuding over an estate between sisters-in-law, one worthy and one vulgar; his tone is light, self-consciously entertaining, and sometimes slangy. Moved to London in 1856 and ed. the Examiner after John Forster; m. twice, first to neice of Lady Morgan; d. Torquay.

Belfast Public Library holds Bachelor of the Albany (1847); Cl[o]ver Cottage (1867); The Falcon Family (1845); My Uncle the Curate (1867).


A play ascribed to a M. W. Savage by Rev. S C. Hughes in Pre-Victorian Drama in Dublin [n.d.]

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