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Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
As the straight-man narrator, observer, and regular butt of hundreds of hilarious trials and mishaps, Major Yeates never ceases to be surprised, is usually not amused, and can't stop himself from loving his Irish neighbors.-500 Great Books by Women.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 18th 1998 by J. S. Sanders and Company (first published 1899)
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bup
Jun 20, 2011 bup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is about the most agreeable, humorous novel from this time period, now considered a classic, you're likely to find.

Major Sinclair Yeates has the detached, slightly jaded air that makes the "fish out of water" (maybe not out of water - more like fish in slightly bracken water when he's a fresh water fish) tale hilarious in parts. It's a novel-length missive. It struck me as an unaired Britcom - in fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out the BBC has made a series out of it. The 12 ch
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Alan
Sep 28, 2016 Alan rated it it was amazing
Absolutely hilarious. The British judge, Major Yeates the RM (for Royal Magistrate), arrives in rain, soon offered a horse by his savvy landlord who's already overcharging: "…a stout grey animal. I recognised with despair that I was about to be compelled to buy a horse. Jolting to my entrance gate and back, I decided as he had neither fallen down nor kicked me off, it was worth paying 25 for him, if only to get in out of the rain"(8).
The house is vast, with unexplored inner reaches--unexplored
...more
Erin
May 20, 2015 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, short-stories
There is something familiar and comforting about the tales of the Irish, at least it seems so to me. This book was clever and witty, and very funny, and seemed like it should have been read next to a warm fire while sitting in a comfy chair.

It made me laugh out loud numerous times, and the ending was unexpectedly sweet and perfect.
Pip
Feb 10, 2016 Pip rated it really liked it
These experiences are rollicking yarns explained in deadpan tones by Major Sinclair Yeates, recently retired from the British Army and trying to settle somewhere on the West Coast of Ireland. His qualifications for his new role are unclear and his duties do not appear to be especially onerous as he has time for lots of fox hunting, some snipe shooting and even a sailing trip. He is joined after a year or so by his new wife, Philippa, who takes to hunting and her new life with great aplomb. The ...more
Book Wormy
Jun 14, 2015 Book Wormy rated it liked it
Shelves: 1001-read
Some Experiences of an Irish RM Somerville


This is the story of Major Sinclair Yates a man with mixed English and Irish blood who ends up as Resident Magistrate in a Irish village.

Yates is planning to build up his career and money and marry his sweetheart Phillipa an event that occurs during the novel but is not detailed one minute Yates is alone next he is married and his wife has embraced country life.

The book is made up of loosely connected episodes that the Major is involved most notably hors
...more
alibrivoxfan
Sep 23, 2011 alibrivoxfan rated it it was amazing
This was hilarious. Andy Minter is an excellent reader. The Librivox version is a quality audio book available for free from Librivox dot com and Archive dot org.
Elizabeth
The humor eluded me.
Deanne
Loved it, funny in places and smiled often as Yeates tried to keep do his job as magistrate.
Frank
Jun 24, 2011 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-authors
Written at the turn of the last century, Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. is a curious thing. The authors were cousins, women of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy who nevertheless write from the point of view of the eponymous (male) Resident Magistrate. There’s a bit of “Upstairs/Downstairs” about it, but it’s very sympathetic to the native population even while it pokes fun and is somewhat patronising. Indeed, while the “locals” provide a cast of humorous background figures, the majority o ...more
A. Mary
Apr 04, 2013 A. Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: irish-novels
The prose takes some adjustment if the reader has been on a steady diet of more recent fiction or non-fiction, but it is worth shifting gears. Set in 19th-century Ireland, among the privileged Anglo-Irish ascendancy, the book is what its title proclaims, so it reads like a sequence of stories sharing a cast of characters. The author cousins, Somerville and Ross, probably laughed themselves silly when they read excerpts aloud to each other. The humour is very droll and I laughed aloud, especially ...more
Kristel
Jan 20, 2016 Kristel rated it really liked it
This tale was published in 1899 and is a series of comic tales of Anglo-Irish life dealing with hunting, shooting, horse riding and some drinking. The servants and publicans play minor roles and it is mostly about the elite of society with only a faint hint of struggles of the working class against the landlord class and Irish self government. The lady authors were of the elite class and the story is limited by their vision. Major Sinclair Yeates becomes the resident magistrate of Skebawn. He is ...more
Timothy Ferguson
Apr 03, 2013 Timothy Ferguson rated it it was ok
This is one of those books in which an outsider enters a community of interesting eccentrics, and is fleeced, than embraced. I found it difficult to enjoy, because the protagonist doesn’t actually motivate the plot, being carried along by others, and I didn’t find the chief rogue charming enough. Recommended for those people who understand why the characters could find foxhunting interesting enough to write many, many chapters about it. I listened to the Librivox edition.

Review originally posted
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Deon Stonehouse
Major Sinclair Yeates as just been appointed Resident Magistrate in an Irish village. Life changes for the hapless Yeates with ferocious speed. One day he is a Major in a normal regiment, the next he is being awakened at 3:00 AM by chimney sweeps, drug around the countryside chasing fox, and finding himself the foil of his crafty neighbors in the bucolic village. Wickedly funny, reading this one is a lark!
Alex
Feb 22, 2010 Alex rated it did not like it
This book is a comedy which no longer amuses. Since it has entertained generations of readers, I can only blame myself. The prose is demonstrably funny no doubt, if one understands the detailed descriptions of a hunt (never having been on a horse I rode a steed of incomprehension). Reading the satires on the cultural, social and political environment, I imagine myself an Indian farmer in the Madras presidency circa 1900 trying to appreciate Vonnegut.Hopeless.
Francisco
May 17, 2012 Francisco rated it liked it
It is quite well written in that "quite amusing" fashion of landed gentry. It seems to have dated badly, however, in its obsession with having animals be killed or mangled, a lot of fox-hunting, birds dying, horses getting injured, and all of it made for laughs. The way the poor are portrayed is also patronizing and again for laughs. Well written, but laughs at the wrong things, really.
Janis
Oct 09, 2012 Janis rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, favorites
What a rollicking lively account...surely it must be based on real life....much better than the series, though I did rush to the online videos to add to the experience...it worked...should finish it in the next few days...

Done....I enjoyed this so much, I ordered and received the background historical information, biographical info about Someville and Ross, and a further book on the Irish R.M?
Linda
Aug 05, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, book-group
One would think this book would be just my cup of tea. Sadly, there was too much animal sadness-- pervasive animal sadness, in fact-- for that to be the case. For what it's worth, I didn't care for the tv series based on this book, either. Full disclosure-- I didn't finish. But I made it to the 75% mark, for the sake of my beloved book group.
Z
Mar 08, 2015 Z rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, librivox
Some clever and even funny bits, but my lack of knowledge of the culture and perhaps the audiobook format made the book more of a challenge. On the other hand, the excellent narrator also filled out parts that would have passed me by otherwise.

Clearly, it was well written and a pleasant read, though I wasn't always able to follow.
Philip Lane
May 12, 2015 Philip Lane rated it liked it
A selection of memoirs from the life of a magistrate in Ireland in the 19th century. I was very disappointed because I was expecting some sort of insight into the legal system at the time but it turned out to be mostly about hunting and sailing and how the establishment entertained themselves. I don't feel as though I got any new insights.
Danielle B.
Fun book, my version was a collection of these two books plus "In Mr. Knox's Country" by the same authors and published in 1915. Got a wonderful feel for Irish country life at the turn of the century, a peak at another age and place.
Highlandtown
Feb 20, 2016 Highlandtown rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book. Understated and funny: "...but his wavy hair had withdrawn intellectually from his temples; his eyes had acquired a statesmanlike absence of expression....".
Fantastic characters with women and horses at the center of it all.
Leslie
Oct 16, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun set of humorous anecdotes. Andy Minter has done a great narration and his Irish accents added to the enjoyment. However, I think I liked the PBS/BBC TV series better...
Lori
Sep 28, 2015 Lori rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
For the most part this is an amusing story. The antics of one of the main characters are quite funny. Those Irishmen sure can drink!
Sarah
Some of the stories in the middle dragged (I set this book aside for a while) but the characters are very entertaining. The dialect writing gave me trouble at times; reading those bits aloud helped!
Sandy
Nov 21, 2015 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, own
I loved the BBC series and this was a pleasant reminder. Short stories to be spread out - too many at once would be too much; they are quite similar. I got the next two books (free) lined up.
Casey Mahon
Dec 10, 2015 Casey Mahon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read and retread this book multiple times. The funniest pages I've ever had the pleasure to read. The jokes are timeless and the stories moving. Cant recommend it enough.
Jane
Jul 04, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
A west of Ireland gem, full of sly humor and laugh out loud moments. It's Upstairs Downstairs, Irish style.
Kelley L. Cornelius
Kelley L. Cornelius rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2016
Clarissa
Clarissa rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2013
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Edith Anna Œnone Somerville (2 May 1858 – 8 October 1949) was an Irish novelist who habitually signed herself as "E. Œ. Somerville". She wrote in collaboration with her cousin "Martín Ross" (Violet Florence Martin) under the pseudonym "Somerville and Ross". Together they published a series of fourteen stories and novels, the most popular of which were The Real Charlotte, and The Experiences of an ...more
More about Edith Somerville...

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“my first November at Shreelane was composed of weather of which my friend Flurry Knox remarked that you wouldn't meet a Christian out of doors, unless it was a snipe or a dispensary doctor.” 0 likes
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