Erskine Childers is known today as the author of

The Riddle of the Sands

(1903), one of the earliest and most influential spy-adventure novels. He is also known as a martyr of the Irish resistance to British domination.

Erskine Childers was born in Mayfair, London, on 25th June 1870. His father, Robert Caesar Childers (1838-1876), was the son of a Yorkshire clergyman, therefore considered a gentleman. He had intellectual and religious inclinations and studied Hebrew at Wadham College, Oxford. In 1860 he joined the British administration of Ceylon where he became fascinated by Pali, the classical scriptural language of Buddhism. In 1864, forced by tuberculosis to return to England, he worked in the India Office Library and compiled the first English dictionary of Pali, published in two

1959 words

Citation: Clark, Robert. "Erskine Childers". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 February 2024 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

858 Erskine Childers 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.