Written by two female Irish writers, Edith Sommerville and Violet Florence Martin, Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. is an extremely droll and interesting depiction of late 19th century Ireland. Filled with humorous remarks and situations, the book offers a pleasant pastime even to those reading it today, more than a century later.
An overall fun and agreeable book, this set of stories is the first of a collection of three books written by the same authors – Further Experiences of an Irish R.M. and In Mr. Knox’s Country – the stage being set well before the Republic of Ireland became separate from Great Britain.
We are presented with the story of Major Sinclair Yates, an ex-British Officer recently appointed Resident Magistrate (R.M.) and stationed in his new post in Ireland. Rather used to playing golf and hunting foxes than solving cases, the magistrate had taken up a comfortable post in West Cork, as a result of some able strings pulled by his fiancée, Philippa.
This is considered an absolutely hilarious set of stories, with each of the 12 chapters acting as a separate tale of its own and depicting Major Yates’ less adept approach at playing the Resident Magistrate role.
While in many ways lighthearted and great fun, the book also hints at the struggles of the working class against the elite society. Nevertheless, it mostly focuses on painting the lives of the rich Irish aristocrats, along with their drinking, hunting and horse riding habits, into a funny and delectable story. The authors focus on essentially breaking down the qualities and traits of these higher class members, mainly through the example of the main character.
If you are interested in a timeless comedy that can still make you laugh, while describing the simple countryside activities of Irish aristocrats, Some Experiences of an Iris R.M. may definitely be worth taking a glance at.