A literary man: Alexander Ireland

Alexander IrelandAlexander Ireland, shown here with his son in 1886, is familiar as the elderly father of John Ireland. He was also a significant Manchester figure, whose knowledge and love of books had a longlasting impact on his son, as this obituary describes:

‘Sir Walter Scott, Charles Lamb, Wordsworth, Thomas Campbell, Leigh Hunt, Carlyle, George Dawson, Hawthorne, Emerson, Robert Chambers, J. Russell Lowell, Wendell Holmes, and Froude – these were the strings on which he played, and the mere reference to any one of them set him off on a monologue – interesting, vivid, varied – that held all present in rapt attention. His drawing-room was just a gallery of photographs and etchings of authors, past and present…’ (obituary, 10 Dec 1894, The Manchester Guardian: p.8). Edinburgh

In 1882 Alexander Ireland  produced a biography of Emerson:  Ralph Waldo Emerson, his life,  genius and writings: a biographical sketch to which are added personal  recollections of his visits to England, having met Emerson in 1833 in  Edinburgh, where he heard him deliver a memorable discourse in St Mark’s Unitarian Chapel. Young Street. This biography can be viewed at the site below



One comment on “A literary man: Alexander Ireland

  1. Stephen Banfield says:

    I want to know what that strange piece of furniture is, in front of which the infant John Ireland is standing. It looks like some fearsome musical instrument, hopefully now extinct, but perhaps that’s just an optical illusion.

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