Book Cover of Robert Lynd


Lifetime: 1879 - 1949 Passed: ≈ 74 years ago


Editor of Poetry, Writer



Robert Lynd

Robert Wilson Lynd was an Irish writer, editor of poetry, urbane literary essayist, socialist and Irish nationalist.

He was born in Belfast to Robert John Lynd, a Presbyterian minister, and Sarah Rentoul Lynd, the second of seven children. Lynd's paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Scotland to Ireland.

Lynd was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution, where he befriended James Winder Good and Paul Henry,[2] and studied at Queen's University. His father served a term as Presbyterian Church Moderator as one of a long line of Presbyterian clergy in the family. A 2003 essayist on Lynd recounts that his "maternal grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had all been Presbyterian clergymen."

He married the writer Sylvia Dryhurst on 21 April 1909. They met at Gaelic League meetings in London. Their daughters Máire and Sigle became close friends of Isaiah Berlin. Máire married communist lawyer Jack Gaster and had three children. Sigle's son, born in 1941, is artist Tim Wheeler.

In March 1924, Robert and Sylvia moved to what was to be their long-term married home, the elegant Regency house of 5 Keats Grove in the leafy suburb of Hampstead, north-west London. The house had been lived in by various members of Sylvia's (Dryhurst) family.

James Joyce and his wife Nora Barnacle held their wedding lunch at the Lynds’ house after getting married at Hampstead Town Hall on 4 July 1931.

Lynd died in Hampstead in 1949. He is buried in Belfast City Cemetery. Seán McBride, Minister for External Affairs, attended the funeral as the representative of the government of the Republic of Ireland.

Books by Robert Lynd

Old and New Masters Cover image

Old and New Masters

Nationalism Politics Sensation Literary Criticism Historical

Jane Austen, WB Yeats, Chesterton, Shaw... these are personal and intelligent short essays on a selection of great (and great-ish) writers: some well known, and some a bit more obscure to the average reader today. Robert Lynd (1879 – 1949) is best kn...

The Pleasures of Ignorance Cover image

The Pleasures of Ignorance

Beauty Intelligence Freedom Life Short Works Experiences Ignorance Joys

In his witty and insightful book, The Pleasures of Ignorance, Robert Lynd argues that there is a certain joy to be found in not knowing everything. He explores the many ways in which ignorance can free us from anxiety, open our minds to new possibili...

The Book of This and That Cover image

The Book of This and That

Animal Nature Happiness Art Philosophical Life Short Works Wisdom

In a world where everything seems to be moving faster and faster, take a moment to slow down and savor the simple things with this collection of essays on a variety of topics, from literature to philosophy to current events. The Book of This and Tha...

The Art of Letters Cover image

The Art of Letters

Beauty Learning Reflection Art Short Works Wisdom Writing Compassion

A lost art form rediscovered: The Art of Letters by Robert Lynd In his classic book The Art of Letters, Robert Lynd explores the lost art of letter writing. He argues that letters are not simply a means of communication, but also a form of art. In a...