Adam Bede

Who is Reverend Augustus Irwine from Adam Bede and what is their importance?

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Reverend Irwine is a representative of the conservative element of Christianity in rural England. Although undoubtedly a good man, Irwine is a bit pompous and self-satisfied. The very idea of Methodism as a radical new challenge to the authority of the Anglican Church is galling to him and he focuses on Dinah Morris—the most visible local exponent of that protestant denomination—as interlocutor to answer his questions about the sect. Irwine is also a bit of a match-maker who encourages Adam to pursue Dinah, which is in keeping with the wishes of his family as well as the Poysers who sponsor Dinah during her time in Hayslope.