Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dilke, Ashton Wentworth

DILKE, ASHTON WENTWORTH (1850–1883), traveller and politician, younger son of Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke [q.v.], was educated privately, and went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, of which he was a scholar, but left without taking his degree, being anxious to travel in Russia and acquire a knowledge of the condition of that empire. He visited a great part of Russia and Central Asia; and resided for some months in a Russian village, studying the language and also examining the condition of the peasantry. On his return he read a paper on Kuldja before the Geographical Society, and commenced a work on Russia, one or two chapters of which appeared in the ‘Fortnightly Review,’ but it was never published, as his energies were absorbed for a time in editing the ‘Weekly Dispatch,’ which he purchased within a year after his return home; and when he had leisure to return to his book he conceived that its place had been supplied by Mr. (now Sir) D. Mackenzie Wallace's volumes. A translation of Tourguenieff's ‘Virgin Soil’ was published by Dilke in 1878. In 1880 he was returned for Newcastle as an advanced liberal, and seemed likely to play a considerable part in politics; but his health, never robust, gradually gave way and he resigned his seat. He died at Algiers on 12 March 1883.

[Athenæum, 17 March 1883.]

N. McC.