Ruth Dudley Edwards

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Dr Ruth Dudley Edwards is an Irish historian, writer and journalist. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the New Culture Forum which advocates right-wing positions on social and cultural issues.


Dudley Edwards was born and brought up in Dublin [1] and has described her Grandmother Edwards as a diehard Sinn Féin supporter: 'Like the present-day Sinn Fein/IRA, what drove her was her visceral hatred of the British - an interesting trait in the wife of an English Quaker.' [2]

She studied history as an undergraduate at University College Dublin, and as a postgraduate at Girton and Wolfson Colleges, Cambridge, obtaining an M.A. and a Doctorate. [3] In 1982, Dudley Edwards was commissioned to write the official history of The Economist.[4] She spent two years visiting British diplomatic posts around the world for her 1994 book on the Foreign Office, True Brits.[5]

On The Irish Peace Process

Following RTE's first interview with Gerry Adams in 1994, Dudley Edwards wrote:

Should the British broadcasting ban be lifted, now that the Irish have welshed? Probably not. As it stands it is ridiculous, but at least it stops reverential interviews in which apologists for terrorism wipe the floor with their interviewers.[6]

Andrew Marr responded:

Much as I respect Ruth Dudley Edwards, I thought her argument on this page yesterday for the ban was dangerous. Citing Bagehot, she said that you had to have order before the luxury of liberty. That could neatly justify state censorship on a host of issues.[7]

In March 1994, shortly after a series of IRA mortar attacks against Heathrow, Dudley Edwards wrote:

There should be no appeasement, no talks, no communications - private or public. The governments must accept that negotiation with the terrorists in their two islands is wrong as well as fruitless, that they must co-operate to root them out and that they should draw on the practical experience of European partners such as Italy and Spain.[8]

On British Muslims

On 21 August 2006 Dudley Edwards attended a seminar called, 'Why Are Britain's Universities Incubating Islamist Extremism?' at the neoconservative orientated think-tank Policy Exchange . [9] It was also attended by other right-wing figures including Anthony Glees, the author of When Students Turn to Terror and the Scottish academic Tom Gallagher. Dudley Edwards wrote an article on the conference in the Irish Sunday Independent. Starting with two anecdotes about how British students came home from university with more conservative religious views, she continued:

Such undergraduates are typical of those who have been and are being turned into extremists on university campuses in Britain. In some cases, they have become murderers. These days they don't have to go to Pakistan to learn how to kill people: there are several training camps in England. ... Easy prey for extremists, said Gallagher, are British students whose talents suit them to be plumbers or carpenters, but whose parents are starry-eyed about their becoming professionals. With poor grades, they end up on a pointless course at a mediocre university and realise that they'll end up in some dead-end job. This makes them perfect recruiting material for those promising to give them a way of making sense of their lives. First, they are offered brotherhood and, through Islamic teaching, clear instructions on how to live each minute of your life. Then comes the indoctrination in the victim culture, the propaganda videos showing the suffering of brothers and sisters in Palestine and Chechnya and Iraq at the hands of Christians and Jews: obviously, no one points out that more Muslims are killed by Muslims than by anyone else. Nor are they told of how the West rescued Kuwait, or saved Muslims in the Balkans. The videoed sermons preaching the extermination of Jews and infidels come next. [10]

In 2010 Dudley Edwards was one of a number of commentators who attacked University College London after it was revealed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had been President of the Islamic Society at UCL. On 2 January 2010 the Daily Telegraph published an article by Dudley Edwards in which she wrote that, ‘a mixture of greed, knee-jerk Left-wingery, anti-Semitism and pusillanimity have combined to make our universities breeding grounds for Islamism.’ She concluded: ‘If vice-chancellors of universities that contain festering ideological cesspits do not clear them out, they should be replaced.’ [11] The same day the Telegraph’s website posted an article detailing guest speakers at student Islamic Societies in British universities including UCL, which it said would raise ‘concerns of whether university authorities have taken sufficient measures to prevent violent extremism on campus.’ [12] The report, which cited the Centre for Social Cohesion and the Quilliam Foundation, was also printed in the Sunday Telegraph the next day. [13]

On Douglas Murray

After Paul Goodman criticized Douglas Murray's approach to Islam in a ConservativeHome article, Dudley Edwards defended Murray with the following comment:

I was proud to be a director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, which, under Douglas Murray's leadership, produced fine work. Now merged with the Henry Jackson Society, it continues to cast a cold eye on political extremism. I really don't care much that Douglas put something badly in a speech in 2006 or that he was too confrontational for the a Conservative Party bend - above all - on proving itself to be nice. We are lucky to have such a brave and brilliant champion of Western values: there is nothing of a bigot about him. I'm sorry that Paul Goodman, whom I admire, has allowed his emotions to make him intemperate.[14]

Israel Advocacy

In October 2015, Edwards signed a letter in The Guardian along with more than 150 people drawn from the arts and politics. The letter launched Culture for Coexistence, an organisation that opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[15]



Non Fiction Books

  • An Atlas of Irish History (1973, 1981, 2005)
  • Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure (1977 and 2006)
  • James Connolly (1981)
  • Harold Macmillan: a life in pictures (1983)
  • Victor Gollancz: a biography (1987)
  • The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843–1993 (1993)
  • The Best of Bagehot (1993)
  • True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office (1994)
  • The Faithful Tribe: an intimate portrait of the loyal institutions (1999)
  • Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil King and the Glory Days of Fleet Street (2003)
  • Aftermath: the Omagh bombing and the families’ pursuit of justice (2009)

Fiction Books

  • Corridors of Death (1981)
  • The Saint Valentine’s Day Murders (1984)
  • The School of English Murder (1990)
  • Clubbed to Death (1992)
  • Matricide at St Martha’s (1994)
  • Ten Lords A-Leaping (1995)
  • Murder in a Cathedral (1996)
  • Publish and be Murdered (1998)
  • The Anglo-Irish Murders (2000)
  • Carnage on the Committee (2004)
  • Murdering Americans (2007)




  1. Home, Ruth Dudley Edwards, 2 June 2010.
  2. Ruth Dudley Edwards, Fanatical enough to make Granny proud; As Sinn Fein prepares for its weekend conference, Ruth Dudley Edwards looks at its historical mandate, Independent, 23 February 1994.
  3. DR RUTH DUDLEY EDWARDS: Curriculum Vitae,, accessed 3 July 2010.
  4. Ruth Dudley Edwards, History saved from bombs and bin-liners, The Independent, 2 September 1993.
  5. Michael Binyon, 'Our not-so-innocents abroad', The Times, 23 April 1994.
  6. Ruth Dudley Edwards, Independent, 2 February 1994.
  7. Andrw Marr, 'Terrorists become statesmen: fact of life', Independent, 3 February 1994.
  8. Ruth Dudley Edwards, 'Slaughter won't stop until they've won; Bleating about peace will only prolong Northern Ireland's agony, warns Ruth Dudley Edwards', Independent, 17 March 1994.
  9. Tom Gallagher, 'Wrong Muslim voices on campus', The First Post, 21 August 2006. [PDF created 25 February 2010]
  10. Ruth Dudley-Edwards, ‘Fundamentalist Lessons to be learnt by Irish Academe', Sunday Independent (Ireland), 27 August 2006.
  11. Ruth Dudley Edwards, ‘British universities: seats of learning – and loathing’, Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2010; p.23
  12. Patrick Sawer and David Barrett, ‘Special investigation Bomber's mentor invited to spread hate in Britain’,, 2 January 2010
  13. Patrick Sawer and David Barrett, ‘Special investigation Bomber's mentor invited to spread hate in Britain’, Sunday Telegraph, 3 January 2010; p.4
  14. Ruth Dudley Edwards, comment at 15.05 in Paul Goodman: Why the Conservative frontbench broke off relations with Douglas Murray - and what happened afterwards, ConservativeHome, 17 October 2011.
  15. Harriet Sherwood, 'Star authors call for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue rather than boycotts', The Guardian, 22 October 2015, accessed 23 October 2015