About Augustine Birrell:
Augustine Birrell was an English Liberal Party politician, who was Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1907 to 1916. In this post, he was praised for enabling tenant farmers to own their property, and for extending university education for Catholics. But he was criticised for failing to take action against the rebels before the Easter Rising, and resigned. A barrister by training, he was also an author, noted for humorous essays.
Given Pounds and five years, and an ordinary man can in the ordinary course, without any undue haste or putting any pressure upon his taste, surround himself with books, all in his own language, and thence forward have at least one place in the world...Augustine Birrell