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Arthur Alfred Lynch

(1861—1934) Irish nationalist


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(1861–1934), born near Ballarat of an Irish father who had taken part in the Eureka rebellion and of a Scottish mother, graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1886, and also trained as a civil engineer. He later studied science, physiology, psychology and electrical engineering in Europe, qualified as a doctor in London, worked for a time as a journalist and in 1892 tried unsuccessfully to enter the House of Commons as a Parnellite candidate. He served with the Boers during the Boer War. In 1901 he was elected to the House of Commons as Nationalist candidate for Galway but was imprisoned and tried for treason in 1902. Convicted in 1903, he was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released on licence a year later after Theodore Roosevelt interceded with Edward VII, and subsequently won a free pardon. A prominent Irish member of parliament until 1918, he was active in British interests during the First World War. The author of nearly thirty books on a range of subjects including science, psychology, ethics and the Irish problem, Lynch also published an autobiography, My Life Story (1924); five volumes of verse, some of which shows a satirical wit, A Koran of Love (1894), Our Poets! (1894), Religio Athletae (1895), Prince Azreel (1911) and Sonnets of the Banner and the Star (1914); and two works of fiction, Poppy Meadows (1915) and O'Rourke the Great (1921). A man of wide-ranging interests and talents, Lynch in his combination of affection for Australia and fierce love of Ireland is an extreme representative of a common political phenomenon in Australia before 1918.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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