Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography

Duggan, Alfred Leo [bap. Alfredo] (1903-1964), novelist, was born in Lomas de Zamora, the eldest son of Alfredo Huberto Duggan (1875-1915) and Grace Elvina, daughter of Joseph Monroe Hinds. Alfredo Huberto Duggan was the second son of Thomas Duggan (1838-1913) of Ballymahon, Co. Longford, and Marcela Casey (1845-1922), sister of the businessman and land entrepreneur Eduardo Casey (1847-1906). 

Leo A. Duggan was taken to England when his father was appointed in 1906 honorary attaché at the Argentine embassy in London. Leo Alfred Duggan was educated at Eton and Balliol college, Oxford, and then worked for the British Natural History Museum. At the age of twenty-one Duggan sailed in the St. George from England via Madeira, Trinidad, and Panama to the Galapagos Islands, in pursuance of his tasks for the museum. Later he travelled extensively in Greece and Turkey, studying Byzantine monuments, and in 1935 he helped to excavate Constantine's palace in Istanbul, under the auspices of the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). In 1938- 1941 Duggan served in the London Irish Rifles, with active service in Norway. For the rest of World War II he worked in an airplane factory. A prolific writer of historical fiction, Duggan turned out more than one book a year, being the first Knight with Armour (1950). Alfred L. Duggan had visited all the places mentioned in this work except Antioch, where neither the French nor, later, the Turks encouraged foreign visitors. 

Married in 1953 with Laura Hill, he then published his novels The Conscience of the King and The Little Emperors, the latter dealing in lively fashion with the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire as it impinged upon the life of a British civil servant. His novel Leopards and Lillies was found by some critics to be deficient in characterization and human interest. Leo Alfred Duggan died on 4 April 1964 at Old Hill Court, Ross-on-Wye, Wales, and was buried at Saint Francis, Windsor.

Edmundo Murray


- Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p. 294.

- University of Calgary (, accessed 12 September 2003. 

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

Online published: 1 October 2003
Edited: 07 May 2009

Murray, Edmundo, Duggan, Leo Alfred
(1903-1964)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" November-December 2005 (


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