Irvine was born, the ninth of
twelve children, in Pogue's Entry in the town of Antrim - the street
he was later to make famous. As a young man he worked as a newsboy,
a miner and a soldier before emigrating to the United States, where
he acquired an education. He graduated from Yale University as a
minister of religion and preached for some years in the Church of
the Ascension, Fifth Avenue, New York. During the First World War he
served as a morale officer on the western front, reputedly at the
request of Lloyd George himself.
Irvine's publications include The Souls Of Poor Folk and The Man
From World's End, as well as the celebrated My Lady Of The Chimney
Corner, a tribute to his mother, Anna Irvine nee Gilmour. He is
buried in Antrim Church of Ireland graveyard.