M'Carthy, Justin

views updated

Justin M'Carthy, 1830–1912, Irish historian, politician, and novelist. After a long career in journalism, he entered the British Parliament in 1879, advocating home rule for Ireland. He was at first a supporter of, then head of the opposition to, Charles Parnell. His novels include Dear Lady Disdain (1875) and Miss Misanthrope (1878). Best known as a historian, he wrote A History of Our Own Times (7 vol., 1879–1905) and began The Four Georges and William IV (4 vol., 1884–1901). It was completed by his son, Justin Huntly M'Carthy, 1860–1936. Also a member of Parliament (1884–92) and a versatile writer, he was best known for his novel If I Were King (1901), which he based on the life of François Villon. His later dramatization of the novel became the basis for the operetta The Vagabond King.