Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Savage, Marmion W.

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SAVAGE, MARMION W. (1803–1872), novelist and journalist, son of the Rev. Henry Savage, was born in Ireland early in 1803. He matriculated as a pensioner on 6 Oct. 1817 at Trinity College, Dublin, obtaining a scholarship, then given only for classics, in 1822, and graduating B.A. in the autumn of 1824. On leaving the university he held for some time in Dublin a position under the Irish government. His maiden work, entitled ‘The Falcon Family, or Young Ireland,’ appeared in 1845, at the moment when the physical force party were just beginning to secede from the Repeal Association. It was a caustic and brilliant skit upon the seceders. His second work, ‘The Bachelor of the Albany,’ which was published in 1847, proved to be his masterpiece. In 1849 Savage brought out a three-volume novel, called ‘My Uncle the Curate,’ and in 1852 another entitled ‘Reuben Medlicott, or the Coming Man.’ His fifth story was a novelette, called ‘Clover Cottage, or I can't get in,’ which, dramatised by Tom Taylor under the title of ‘Nine Points of the Law,’ as a comedietta in one act, was first performed at the Olympic on 11 April 1859, with Mrs. Stirling and Addison in the two chief parts. In 1855 he edited, in two volumes with notes and a preface, Sheil's ‘Sketches, Legal and Political,’ which had appeared serially in the ‘New Monthly Magazine,’ under the editorship of Thomas Campbell. After having lived for nearly half a century in Dublin, Savage was in 1856 appointed editor of the ‘Examiner,’ in succession to John Forster [q. v.], and removed to London, where his wit and scholarship caused him to be heartily welcomed in literary circles. He remained editor of the ‘Examiner’ for some three years. In 1870 he brought out his sixth and last novel, entitled ‘The Woman of Business, or the Lady and the Lawyer.’ He died at Torquay, after a prolonged illness, on 1 May 1872. His writings possess, besides exhilarating wit and animation, the charm of a literary flavour.

He was twice married. By his first wife, Olivia, a niece of Lady Morgan, to whom the novelist inscribed his ‘Bachelor of the Albany,’ he had an only son, who died in youth. By his second wife, a daughter of Thomas Hutton of Dublin, he had no children.

[Personal recollections; obituary notice in the Athenæum, 11 May 1872, p. 591; Times, 6 May, p. 12; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Annual Reg. 1872, p. 153.]

C. K.