Ruth Dudley Edwards

Journalist, crime fiction writer and biographer

Recent journalism

UK’s informal protection of the Republic is not enough any longer – it will have to make sacrifices to survive

When I first began publishing light-hearted crime fiction, I was quoted as “feeling intellectually English and temperamentally Irish”. This caused deep offence in some Irish quarters, but it remains pretty accurate. Published: 21 May 2024 My...

The future isn’t so bright, Gerry Adams – you seem to have lost your people

Gerry Adams has been affronted by the announcement from the UK government of the setting up of the ‘Expert Advisory Panel for Public History of British Policy during the Northern Ireland Conflict’. Published: 14 May 2024 He made this clear on X...

Migrants come to Ireland because it is a softer touch even than the UK

​“Ireland’s difficulty is England’s opportunity,” said Arlene Foster with a grin as she introduced me on GB News on Sunday morning. Published: 6 May 2024 Arlene was jokingly inverting the old rallying cry of Irish nationalists that ‘England’s...

Ireland has made its bed with the EU. It must lie in it

On one level, the migrant row is a mutually-helpful farce. But has something changed in UK-Irish ties? Published: 1 May 2024 Surveying the row over immigration policy in Ireland and the UK, I’m reminded of the Sham Fight, an annual event in...

Ludicrous libel case against me may be over now but a change in the law is needed

I’ve had many wonderful messages on social media in the last few days since I went public with the news that Gerry Kelly had dropped his ludicrous libel case against me. Published: 30 April 2024 Thank you to everyone who sent kind wishes that have...

NON-FICTION — NOW PUBLISHED

The Seven — The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of  the Irish Republic was published by Oneworld on 22nd March 2016.
Hardback, £18.99/$24.

Short-listed for the Orwell Prize.

CRIME FICTION — IN PAPERBACK

Killing The Emperors: UK paperback edition published in July 2013 by Allison & Busby. Published in 2012 in the US by Poisoned Pen Press; published in the UK by Allison & Busby.

Killing the Emperors was shortlisted for two awards at Crimefest 2013 — the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award and the eDunnit Award. It won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award.

The Sinking AdmiralCRIME FICTION — NOW PUBLISHED

The Sinking Admiral is a collaborative novel by 14 members of the Detection Club – Simon Brett (editor), Kate Charles, Natasha Cooper, Stella Duffy, Martin Edwards, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Tim Heald, Michael Jecks, Janet Laurence, Peter Lovesey, Michael Ridpath, David Roberts, L.C. Tyler and Laura Wilson.

Aftermath paperback coverNON-FICTION

Aftermath: the Omagh Bombing and the Families’ Pursuit of Justicepublished by Harvill & Secker on 2 July 2009. Paperback edition published in March 2012.

Aftermath named Sunday Times CURRENT AFFAIRS BOOK OF THE YEAR

Aftermath: the Omagh bombing and the families’ pursuit of justice won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award for non-ficton

Welcome to the Ruth Dudley Edwards updated website! Sometime academic, teacher, marketing executive and civil servant, Ruth Dudley Edwards has been a freelance writer since 1979.

Ruth was born and brought up in Dublin, was a student at University College Dublin, a post- graduate at Cambridge University and now lives in London. A historian and prize-winning biographer (the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Victor Gollancz: a biography), her recent non-fiction books include True Brits: inside the Foreign Office, The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843-1993, The Faithful Tribe: an intimate portrait of the loyal institutions (shortlisted for the Channel 4 political book prize) and Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the glory days of Fleet Street and Aftermath: the Omagh bombings and the families pursuit of justice (longlisted for the Orwell Prize, shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction).

In the 1970s Ruth wrote her first book, An Atlas of Irish History, the third edition of which was published in 2005. Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure, which won the National University of Ireland Prize for Historical Research in 1978, was reissued in 2006 with a new foreword.

Read Ruth’s CV.

Since 1993 Ruth has written seriously and/or frivolously for almost every national newspaper in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom and appears frequently on radio and television in the Republic of Ireland, the UK and on the BBC World Service. Ruth describes herself as British-Irish and is comfortable with being culturally both Irish and English. See her essay The Outsider published in Britain and Ireland: Lives Entwined II (British Council, September 2006).

Her crime novels satirise establishments.  The Anglo-Irish Murders, her ninth crime novel, is a satire on the peace process, her tenth, Carnage on the Committee, is set in literary London, Murdering Americans, set in the academic world of Indiana, was next and her latest is Killing the Emperors, an assault on the madhouse that is the world of modern art. Read her article on this along with Making Fun of Academics, which she often does.

Ruth was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for the John Creasey Award for the best first novel and twice for the Last Laugh award for the funniest crime novel of the year. Murdering Americans won the Last Laugh award at CrimeFest, Bristol, 2008.

RUTH REVIEWS

The Real Global Warming Disaster by Christopher Booker

The Life and After-Life of PH Pearse – Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol agus OidhreachtEdited by Roisín Higgins and Regina Uí Chollatáin

The Long March: The Political Strategy of Sinn Féin, 1981-2007 by Martyn Frampton

The Gathering by Anne Enright

God Save Ulster: the religion and politics of Paisleyism by Steve Bruce

The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black

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