Justin Huntly McCarthy

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Justin Huntly McCarthy (1859 – 20 March 1936)[1] was an Irish author and nationalist politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1884 to 1892, taking his seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

He was the son of Justin McCarthy (1830–1912). Since both father and son were authors, historians, and Members of Parliament, they are sometimes confused in lists and compilations.

Political career[edit]

McCarthy was first elected to Parliament at a by-election on 12 June 1884, when he was returned unopposed as the Home Rule League member for Athlone, following the death of the Liberal MP Sir John James Ennis.[2]

Athlone lost its status as a parliamentary borough under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, and at the 1885 general election McCarthy stood instead in the borough of Newry in County Down, where he was returned unopposed for the Irish Parliamentary Party.[3] He was re-elected in 1886, with a comfortable majority over the Liberal Unionist Reginald Saunders,[4] but did contest the 1892 election.


McCarthy wrote various novels, plays, poetical pieces and short histories. He was briefly married to the actress Cissie Loftus.[5]

Among other works, he wrote biographies of Sir Robert Peel (1891), Pope Leo XIII (1896) and William Ewart Gladstone (1898). In 1889 he published prose translations of 466 quatrains of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.[6] He also wrote:

In 1893, he translated some Gazels from Divan of Hafiz, the 14th century Persian poet, which was published in a 152-page volume by David Nutt. 1000 copies were made, 800 for England and 200 for America.

  • Hafiz in London (1866)
  • England under Gladstone, 1880-1884 (1884)
  • The Case for Home Rule (1887)
  • Camiola, a Girl with a Fortune (1888)
  • Michel de Montaigne, Essayes of Montaigne (1899) Justin Huntly McCarthy Editor
  • An outline of Irish history: from the earliest times to the present day (1890)
  • Lily Lass (1890)
  • The Fate of Fenella, co-written in 1892.
  • Modern England (1898)
  • Cissie Loftus: An Appreciation (1899)
  • The French Revolution, (1899)
  • Reminiscences (2 vols., 1899)
  • A Short History of the United States (1899)
  • A Woman of Impulse (1899)
  • A History of the Four Georges (and of William IV) (1901) with Justin McCarthy
  • If I Were King (1901) Garden Theatre (New York), (1902) St James's Theatre (London)), which was named "Best Play of the 1901–02 Broadway Season",[7] and was adapted into the 1925 operetta The Vagabond King, its 1930 film version, its 1956 film version, and the 1938 film If I Were King.
  • The Reign of Queen Anne (1902)
  • Marjorie (1903)
  • The Proud Prince (1903)
  • The lady of Loyalty house (1904)
  • The Dryad (1905)
  • The flower of France (1906)
  • The illustrious O'Hagan (1906)
  • Needles and Pins (1907)
  • The Duke's Motto: A Melodrama (1908)[8]
  • Seraphica: A Romance (1908)
  • The god of love (1909)
  • The gorgeous Borgia: a romance (1909)
  • The O'Flynn: A Novel (1910)
  • The king over the water: or, The marriage of Mr. Melancholy (1911)
  • A health unto His Majesty (1912)
  • Calling the Tune (1913)
  • Fool of April (1914)
  • The Glorious Rascal (Pretty Maids All in a Row) (1915)
  • Nurse Benson (1919)
  • Henry Elizabeth (1920)
  • The Golden Shoe (1921)

Family life[edit]

McCarthy married musical artist Cecilia Loftus in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland, but the marriage did not last long and was dissolved in 1899.[9] He married again in 1908 to Loullie Killick.[9] McCarthy died at his home in Putney on 20 March 1936.[9]


  1. ^ "Historical list of MPs: constituencies beginning with "N", part 2". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Brian M. Walker, ed. (1978). Parliamentary election results in Ireland 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. p. 129. ISBN 0-901714-12-7. 
  3. ^ Walker, op. cit., p. 134.
  4. ^ Walker, op. cit., p. 140.
  5. ^ They married in Edinburgh in 1894, and though they divorced in 1899, she originated the role of Katherine de Vaucelles, the heroine in If I Were King in 1901. Burns Mantle and Garrison P. Sherwood, eds., (1944). The Best Plays of 1899-1909. Philadelphia: The Blakiston Company. p. 67.
  6. ^ Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Justin Huntly McCarthy MP. [London] : D. Nutt, 1889. (Source: Trinity College Dublin Library).
  7. ^ Mantle, op. cit., pp. 66-106.
  8. ^ "Review: The Duke's Motto by Justin H. McCarthy". The Athenaeum (4196): 380. March 28, 1908. 
  9. ^ a b c "Deaths." Times [London, England] 23 Mar. 1936: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 31 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John James Ennis, Bt
Member of Parliament for Athlone
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Henry Thomson
Member of Parliament for Newry
Succeeded by
Patrick George Hamilton Carvill