Joyce Cary (December 7, 1888-March 29, 1957) was a Irish novelist and artist.
Born in Londonderry, descended from the Joyces of Galway; hence his unusual first name, Cary studied art in Paris and Edinburgh before deciding that he would be better suited to a career in writing, rather than in painting.
After reading law at Oxford University, Cary went to Montenegro in 1912 to serve as a Red Cross orderly in the Balkan Wars. There he met his future wife.
Returning to Ireland the next year, Cary took up a post in the Irish government, but soon joined the Nigerian political service. During the First World War Cary served with a Nigerian regiment fighting in the German colony of Cameroon.
After the war, Cary moved to Oxford in 1920, and he stayed there until his death.
He began to seriously write after moving to Oxford. His first four novels, set in Africa, drew heavily from his experiences in Nigeria. Mister Johnson, widely regarded as his greatest novel, was published in 1939.
Cary also wrote a trilogy about an artist named Gulley Jimson; Herself Surprised (1941), To Be A Pilgrim (1942) and The Horse's Mouth (1944).
In the 1950s, Joyce Cary wrote another trilogy: Prisoner Of Grace, Except The Lord and Not Honour More.
He died of motor neurone disease in 1957, and is widely regarded as the greatest English language novelist of the early 20th century.