FANDOM



Thomas Moore 2

Thomas Moore, from A Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America (1873). Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Thomas Moore
Born May 28 1779(1779-Template:MONTHNUMBER-28)
Dublin, Ireland
Died February 25 1852(1852-Template:MONTHNUMBER-25) (aged 72)
Occupation Poet, singer, songwriter, entertainer
Nationality Irish
Notable work(s) The Minstrel Boy
The Last Rose of Summer
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Dyke

Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 - 25 February 1852) was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as Anacreon Moore.

LifeEdit

YouthEdit

Moore was born at 12 Aungier-street in Dublin, Ireland,[1] over his father's grocery shop, his father being from an Irish speaking Gaeltacht]] in County Kerry, and his mother, Anastasia (Codd), from Wexford. He had two younger sisters, Kate and Ellen.

From a relatively early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts. He sometimes appeared in plays with his friends, such as The Poor Soldier by John O'Keeffe, and at one stage had ambitions to become an actor.[2] Moore attended several Dublin schools, including Samuel Whyte's English Grammar School in Grafton Street, where he learned the English accent with which he spoke with for the rest of his life.[3]

From 1795 He was educated at Trinity College, which had recently allowed entry to Catholic students, in an effort to fulfil his mother's dream of his becoming a lawyer. Moore was initially a good student, but he later worked less hard at his studies. His time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil following the French Revolution, and a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmett were supporters of the Society of United Irishmen who sought support from the French government to launch a revolution in Ireland. In 1798 a rebellion broke out, followed by a French invasion, neither of which succeeded.

First successEdit

Thomas Moore from NPG

Moore as a young man (artist and date unknown). Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Moore studied law at the Middle Temple in London. It was as a poet, translator, balladeer and singer that he found fame. His work soon became immensely popular and included The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls, Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms, The Meeting of the Waters and many others. His ballads were published as Moore's Irish Melodies (commonly called Moore's Melodies) in 1846 and 1852.[1] [2] While Thomas Moore was completing his many works he met a girl with the name of Lena Angese who encouraged him with his works. She also helped him with his future compositions and they became very close. Although she was said to have fallen in love with him she suddenly appeared missing. In search of where she had disappeared to Moore found that she had died just days before he went to look for her.

Moore was far more than a balladeer. He had major success as a society figure in London, meeting the Prince of Wales on several occasions and enjoying in particular the patronage of the Irish aristocrat Lord Moira. Moore stayed repeatedly at Moira's house at Donnington Park in Leicestershire where he enjoyed the use of the extensive library. He collaborated with Michael Kelly to stage The Gypsy Prince in 1801 which was not considered by Moore to be a success. In the wake of the work's failure he chose not to write for the theatre for another decade.

North AmericaEdit

In 1803 was appointed registrar to the Admiralty in Bermuda. He spent around three months on the island, but he found his work very light and uninspiring. There were several other prize courts nearby and very few captured ships were brought to Bermuda leaving him little to do. Although he drew inspiration from the scenery of Bermuda he found its society limited and soon departed for Norfolk.[4] Because of his brief stay there he has sometimes been treated as an unofficial poet laureate of Bermuda.[5]

From Norfolk he travelled across the United States and Canada in a Grand Tour. During this visit Moore developed a deeply critical view of the United States. He particularly disliked the governing Democratic-Republican Party and the President Thomas Jefferson. While in Washington he stayed with the British Ambassador there and met Jefferson briefly. He then travelled through various American towns and cities, enjoying his time most in Philadelphia where he already had an established reputation. He then travelled northwards to British-controlled Canada, stopping at the Niagara Falls. He sailed back to Britain from Nova Scotia aboard a Royal Navy ship arriving home in November 1804.[6]

Duel and MarriageEdit

File:Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey by Andrew Geddes.jpg

It was after this trip that he published his book, Epistles, Odes, and Other Poems, which featured a paean to the historic Cohoes Falls called Lines Written at the Cohos [sic], or Falls of the Mohawk River, among other famous verses. A repeated theme in his writing on the United States were his observations of the institution of slavery. Moore's mocking criticisms of the United States provoked outrage in America and led to a number of rebuttals.[7] In Britain, a critical review of the work led to Moore challenging Francis Jeffrey, an editor, to a duel. They met at Chalk Farm but the duel was interrupted by the arrival of the authorities and they were arrested. Reports that Moore's opponent had been given an empty pistol, continued to dog Moore and led to persistent mockery of him.[8]

Lord Byron derisively referred to Moore's "leadless pistol" and wrote "on examination, the balls of the pistols, like the courage of the combatants, were found to have evaporated".[9] Moore was angered by this and sent a letter to Byron that hinted that unless the remarks were clarified Moore was prepared to fight Byron. However, Byron had left Britain to travel abroad and the letter did not reach him. When the two men eventually met each other the dispute was settled and they soon became very close friends.[10]

Between 1808 and 1810 Moore appeared each year with the Kilkenny Players in a charitable series of performances in Kilkenny staged by a mixture of the Irish elite and professional actors. Moore appeared frequently in comic roles in plays like Sheridan's The Rivals and O'Keeffe's The Castle of Andalusia.[11]

Moore married an actress, Elizabeth "Bessy" Dyke, in 1811, whom he had met with the Kilkenny players where she was working with her sisters. She was the daughter of an East India Company official, but was raised with her three sisters by her mother. Moore did not initially tell his parents of his marriage, possibly because his wife was an English Protestant, but more probably because his marriage to a woman without a dowry would not help his financial prospects. Moore had expensive tastes, and, despite the large sums he was earning from his writing, soon got into debt, a situation which was exacerbated by the embezzlement of money by the man he had employed to deputise for him in Bermuda. Moore became liable for the £6000 which had been illegally appropriated by his agent in Bermuda, and lost an Admiralty ruling against this.

Irish MelodiesEdit

In the early years of his career, Moore's work was largely generic and had he died at this point he would likely not have been considered an Irish poet.[12] From 1806-1807 Moore dramatically changed his style of writing and focus. Following a request by a publisher he wrote lyrics to a series of Irish tunes, in collaboration with John Stevenson, which were published in several volumes. Moore became best known for these Irish Melodies which were enormously popular containing songs such as The Minstrel Boy, The Last Rose of Summer and Oft, in the Stilly Night.

In 1811 Moore wrote M.P., a comic opera, in collaboration with Samuel Arnold. Although it received positive reviews Moore didn't enjoy writing for the stage and decided not to work in the medium again despite being occasionally tempted.[13] Throughout the 1810s Moore wrote a number of political satires. After originally being a devoted supporter of the Prince of Wales, he turned against him after 1811 when he became Prince Regent and was seen to embrace the Tory government in spite of his past association with the Whigs. Another major target was the Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh who was repeatedly lampooned in Moore's works such as Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress which parodied the Aix-la-Chapelle diplomatic conference between Britain and her Allies portraying it as a boxing match.[14] In 1818 Moore wrote The Fudge Family in Paris, a story in which a British family travels to experience the sights of Paris; a sequel, The Fudge Family in England, followed in 1835.

Around this time Moore also began working on a biography of the playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan, whom he met numerous times, but partly due to legal reasons it was not published until 1825.[15]

FranceEdit

Exposed to the debt of £6,000 following the ruling of the Admiralty Court against him in 1819, Moore rejected numerous offers of financial aid from his friends and admirers and was forced to leave Britain. In company with Lord John Russell he went to the European Continent and after a Grand Tour through France, Switzerland and Italy lived in Paris until 1822 (notably with the family of Martin de Villamil), when the debt was finally paid off partly with the help of his latest patron Lord Lansdowne and with an advance given him by his publishers Longmans.

During his travels across Europe he briefly spent time with Lord Byron in Venice: this was to be their last meeting. Byron gave Moore his memoirs with instruction to publish them after his death as a literary executor. Moore was much criticised later for allowing himself to be persuaded to destroy Byron's memoirs at the behest of Byron's family because of their damningly honest content. Moore did, however, edit and publish Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life in 1830, six years after Byron's 1824 death in Greece.

After returning to Britain, Moore published new poetry but in spite of good reviews and good sales, he was growing disillusioned with writing poetry and he began to consider writing novels, a genre made increasingly popular by the success of Walter Scott. In October 1825 Moore's Memoirs of the Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan was finally published after nine years of work on and off. It proved very popular, went through a number of editions quickly, and helped give Moore a more serious reputation among his literary contemparies.

Later lifeEdit

File:Thomas Moore, after Thomas Lawrence.jpg

He finally settled in Sloperton Cottage at Bromham, Wiltshire, England, and became a novelist and biographer as well as a successful poet. Around the time of the Reform Act he was invited to stand for parliament, and considered it, but nothing came of it.[16] In 1829 he was painted by Thomas Lawrence, one of the last works completed by the artist before his death.[17] In 1830 he sang in front of the future Queen Victoria in a duet with her mother, and later composed a song Sovereign Woman in her honour.[18]

Moore was for many years a strong advocate for Catholic Emancipation which he regarded as the source of all problems in Ireland and the sole reason behind the 1798 Rebellion - a point he made in his 1831 biography Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald.[19] He experienced a difficult relationship with the leader of the Catholic Association, Daniel O'Connell, whom Moore regarded as a demagogue, believing "O'Connell and his ragamuffins have brought tarnish upon Irish patriotism".[20] Following the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act in 1829 Moore believed his involvement in politics terminated, joking to a friend: "Now that the Paddies are happy... I consider my politics entirely at an end.".[21] However he was drawn back into politics by a series of democratic rebellions across Europe in Belgium, France and Poland.[22] Moore had also been a sympathiser with the Greeks in their War of Independence, a passion he shared with his friend Byron.

He received a state pension, but his personal life was dogged by tragedy including the deaths of all his five children within his lifetime (Anne, age 5, d.1817; Anastasia Mary, age 17, d.1829; Olivia as a baby of a few months of age; John Russell, aged 19, d.1842; and Thomas Lansdowne, aged 27, d.1849) and a stroke in later life, which disabled him from performances - the activity for which he was most renowned. Moore died being cared for by his wife at Sloperton on the 26th February 1852. His remains are in a vault at St. Nicholas churchyard, Bromham, within view of his cottage-home, beside his daughter Anastasia.

Moore frequently visited Boyle Farm in Thames Ditton, [Surrey, as the guest of Lord Henry Fitzgerald and his wife. One noteworthy occasion was the subject of Moore's long poem, 'The Summer Fete'. The poem was about his daughter, Alex Hassett. Alex had taken her mother's last name because when her mother married Thomas, herTemplate:Who parents were against her changing her last name.

WritingEdit

Critical introductionEdit

by Edmund Gosse

When Moore wrote his Life of Byron in 1830 and casually spoke of Mr. Shelley as a finer poet than himself, the world admired his generous modesty, but smiled at the exaggerated instance of it. Yet, even then, close observers like Leigh Hunt noticed that the dazzling reputation of the Irish lyrist was on the wane, and that his supremacy as a singer was by no means likely to remain long unchallenged. A few years earlier Christopher North had said, in his autocratical manner, "of all the song-writers that ever warbled, the best is Thomas Moore." A few years later, as Keats and Tennyson came before the world with a richer and more artistic growth of verse, the author of The Loves of the Angels passed more and more into the background, until at last in our own day critics have dared to deny him all merit, and even to treat him as a kind of lyrical Pariah, an outcast at whom every one is welcome to cast a stone.

As usual in the case of such vicissitudes of taste, the truth seems to lie midway between the extremes, and as in 1830 it would have been salutary to point out how limited in interest, poor in execution, and tawdry in ornament much of Moore’s work was, it is now quite as necessary to recall to the minds of readers of poetry the great claims that he possesses to our respect and allegiance. When Moore began to publish,— and it must be remembered that his earliest printed verses show much of his peculiar individuality,— the genius of Burns alone reminded the public of that day of the existence of a singing element in literature. Neither Crabbe nor Rogers, the two poets then most prominently before the world, knew what it was to write a song, and it was into an atmosphere of refined and frigid reflection that Tom Moore brought the fervour of his Irish heart and the liquid numbers of his Irish tongue. He heralded a new age of poetic song, for although the Lyrical Ballads two years before had, in a far truer sense, announced a fresh epoch, yet their voice had been heard only by one or two.

The easy muse of Moore conquered the town; he popularised the use of bright and varied measures, sparkling rhymes, and all the bewitching panoply of artistic form in which Shelley, the true songwriter, was to array himself. In a larger sense than he himself was conscious of, he was a pioneer in letters. He boasted, with no more gaiety than truth, that he originated modern Irish poetry:—

  ‘Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee,
  The cold chain of silence had hung o’er thee long,
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,
  And gave all thy chords to light, freedom and song.’

He might have applied these words to the harp of England also, for if he was not destined to strike from it the noblest music, he it was at least who took it down from the wall, and tuned it for the service of greater poets than himself.

It is still possible to read Lalla Rookh with pleasure, and even with a sort of indulgent enthusiasm. Rococo prettiness could hardly reach a higher point of accomplishment, and the sham-oriental is perhaps not more hopelessly antiquated than our own sham-mediæval will be sixty years hence. The brilliance of Moore’s voluptuous scenes has faded; he gilded them too much with the gold of Mrs. Tighe’s Psyche, a preparation that was expressly made to tarnish. But underneath the smooth and faded surface lie much tenderness and pathos in the story of the Peri, much genuine patriotism in the fate of the Fire-Worshippers, much tropical sweetness in the adventures of the ‘Light of the Haram.’ These narratives possess more worth, for instance, than all but the very best of Byron’s tales, and would be read with more pleasure than those, were they not overburdened by sensuous richness of style. This quality, which Moore considered his chief claim to immortality, was in point of fact a great snare to him. His idealism, so far from allowing the presence of coarse and passionate touches, expunges them with incessant care, so that throughout the gush and glow of his descriptive scenes the eye and ear alike are conscious of no salient point, no break or discord by which the beauty of the whole can be tested.

The reader sympathises with the French gentleman who said that he admired the pastorals of M. de Florian very much, but that he considered a wolf would improve them. In the Loves of the Angels this honeyed elegance degenerates into a tiresome mannerism; in Lalla Rookh it is still tempered by the vigour of the narrative, the freshness of the scenes, and the skill of the artist. The latter poem, indeed, is constructed with consummate cleverness; the prose story, in which the poetical episodes are enshrined, is both interesting and amusing, so that the whole work leaves on the mind of the reader a greater sense of completeness than any other of Moore’s books. In versification it displays him at his best and at his worst, it shows his mellifluous charm, his ardent flow of verse, and his weak, uncertain wing.

In one only of his writings Moore attained a positive perfection of style. Those homely and sentimental lyrics which have endeared themselves to thousands of hearts under the name of the Irish Melodies form a part and parcel of our literature the extinction of which would leave a sad blank behind it. When they were first produced, in slender instalments spread over a period of more than twenty-five years, they seemed universally brilliant and fascinating to the ears on whom their fresh tunes and dulcet numbers fell in a most amiable union. Here for once, it seemed, music and sweet poetry agreed in complete harmony, the one not brighter or more dainty than the other. Exposed to the wear and tear of sixty years, all the jewels in the casket do not now, any longer, look equally brilliant. Some have wholly faded, others have become weak or crude in colouring, while a few, perhaps one eighth of the whole, are as glowing and exquisite as ever, and shine like real stones in a heap of false jewellery. It is upon these fifteen or sixteen songs, amatory, patriotic and jocose, that Moore’s fame mainly rests, but though the support has become slender, it is lifted beyond all further fear of disintegration.

The Irish Melodies belong preeminently to that minor and less ambitious school of lyrics which of set purpose dedicates itself to vocal singing. The highest lyrical poetry, of course, appeals to the inner ear alone, in that silent singing which is a sweeter thing than any triumph of the vocalist. No tune of the most transcendent aptness could throw fresh charm into the finest stanzas of Shelley, while the most clear-voiced and sympathetic singer would probably fail to make so subtle a scheme of words intelligible to any audience previously ignorant of them. But Moore is a master in that ritual of which Burns is the high priest, in which words of a commonplace character are so strung together as to form poetry easily grasped and enjoyed by the ear, while sometimes the Melodies reach a higher pitch, and may be judged by a more severe standard than the improvisatore ever knows. When his genuine and burning love of Irish liberty inspires him, the little amatory bard rises for a moment to the level of Tyrtæus and Campbell.

It is difficult at the present day to revive an interest in Moore’s satirical and humourous collections of verse, yet their gaiety was hailed with great enjoyment by a generation accustomed to Wolcot’s sturdy fun and the heavy hand of Gifford. In fact the public was excessively entertained by these brisk, smart epistles, in which the Horatian manner was carried to its last excess of levity, and in which witty personalities against public individuals were as thick as plums in a pudding. The Fables for the Holy Alliance were more serious and more trenchant than the rest, and perhaps just because their effect was greater at the time, it is less now. It is precisely the lightness of The Twopenny Post-Bag that supports it still on the stream of literature.

In Rhymes on the Road Moore seems to be emulating Byron in his rapid interchange of cynical with romantic reflection, but he has not the muscular strength needed to draw the bow of Byron, and when he describes the view of Lake Leman from the Jura we miss almost painfully the note of the master. He is infinitely more at home in describing the gay world of Florence, and sentimentally regretting the domestic pleasures of an English home. Nor is the modern reader much scandalised, but only very much amused, to find little Mr. Moore inditing a long poem at Les Charmettes merely to insist upon the fact that he was not roused by reminiscences of Rousseau.[23]


RecognitionEdit

Thomas Moore bust CP jeh

Bust of Thomas Moore in Central Park, New York. Photo by Jim Henderson. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Moore is considered Ireland's National Bard and is to Ireland what Robert Burns is to Scotland. (Citation needed) Moore is commemorated in several places: by a plaque on the house where he was born, by busts at The Meetings and Central Park, New York, and by a large bronze statue near Trinity College Dublin.

Four of his poems ("The Young May Moon," "The Irish Peasant to His Mistress," "The Light of Other Days," and "At the Mid Hour of Night") were included in the Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900.[24]

Many composers have set the poems of Thomas Moore to music. They include Gaspare Spontini, Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, William Bolcom, Lori Laitman, Benjamin Britten and Henri Duparc.

The song Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms is often used in a famous gag in a number of Warner Brothers cartoons, usually involving a piano or Xylophone rigged to explode when a certain note is played. The hero, typically Bugs Bunny, tries to play the melody line of the song, but always misses the rigged note (C above middle C). The villain or rival, finally exasperated, pushes the hero aside and plays the song himself, striking the correct note and blowing himself up. In one instance, however, the protagonist plays the melody on a xylophone and, upon striking the rigged note, the antagonist explodes in an "old gag, new twist."

Many songs of Thomas Moore are cited in works of James Joyce, for example Silent, O Moyle! in Two Gallants (Dubliners)[25] or The Last Rose of Summer.

PublicationsEdit

Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Moore

PoetryEdit

SongsEdit

  • A Selection of Irish Melodies
    • parts 1-7 (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by John Stevenson). London: James Power; Dublin: William Power, 1808-1818
    • parts 8-10 and supplement (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Henry R. Bishop). London: James Power, 1821-1834.
  • A Series of Sacred Songs, Duetts and Trios, The Words by Thomas Moore, Esqr. The Music, Composed and Selected by Sir John Stevenson
    • part 1. London: J. Power; Dublin: William Power, 1816; Philadelphia: Published by Geo. E. Blake, [1817?].
    • part 2. London: J. Power, 1824.
  • A Selection of Popular National Airs
    • part 1 (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Stevenson). London: James Power, 1818; Dublin: William Power, 1818;
    • part 2 (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Bishop). London: James Power, 1820; Dublin: William Power, 1820
    • parts 3-6. London: James Power, 1822-1827.
  • Irish Melodies (Moore's lyrics only)
    • unauthorized edition, Dublin: William Power, 1820
    • authorized edition, London: Printed for James Power and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1821; Philadelphia: T. Jekyll, 1821.
  • Evenings in Greece. First Evening (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Bishop). London: Published by J. Power, 1826.
  • Legendary Ballads (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Bishop). London: Published by J. Power, 1828.
  • The Summer Fête: A poem with songs; the music composed and selected by Henry R. Bishop and Mr. Moore. London: J. Power, 1831; Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1833.
  • Evenings in Greece: The Second Evening (lyrics by Moore and musical arrangements by Bishop). London: J. Power, 1831.

PlaysEdit

FictionEdit

Non-fictionEdit

Collected editionsEdit

TranslatedEdit

  • The Odes of Anacreon. London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1800; Philadelphia: Printed & published by Hugh Maxwell, 1804.

EditedEdit

Letters and journalsEdit

Last Rose of Summer ~ Celtic Woman ~ Joanna Henwood03:45

Last Rose of Summer ~ Celtic Woman ~ Joanna Henwood


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[28]


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. I Hear America Singing
  2. Kelly p.25
  3. Kelly p.21-24
  4. Kelly p.106-107
  5. Kelly p.105
  6. Kelly p.127-128
  7. Kelly p.148-149
  8. Kelly p.139-147
  9. Kelly p.182-183
  10. Kelly p.184 & p.204-209
  11. Kelly p.170-175
  12. Kelly p.151
  13. Kelly p.200
  14. Kelly p.322-327
  15. Kelly p.315-325
  16. Kelly p.476-477
  17. Kelly p.477-478
  18. Kelly p.478
  19. Kelly p.484-485
  20. Kelly p.504
  21. Kelly p.477
  22. Kelly p.477
  23. from Edmund Gosse, "Critical Introduction: Thomas Moore (1779–1852)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Mar. 9, 2016.
  24. Alphabetical list of authors: Montgomerie, Alexander to Shakespeare, William. Arthur Quiller-Couch, editor, Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900 (Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919). Bartleby.com, Web, May 19, 2012.
  25. The James Joyce Songbook, edited and with a commentary by Ruth Bauerle, Garland Publishing Inc., New York - London, 1982, pp. 158-160
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Search results = au:Thomas Moore 1779-1852, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Oct. 5, 2013.
  27. Life of Lord Byron, Volume I, Project Gutenberg. Web, Oct. 5, 2013.
  28. Thomas Moore 1779-1852, Poetry Foundation, Web, Nov. 13, 2012.

External linksEdit

Template:Sister

Poems
Books
Audio / video
About
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).
This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Thomas Moore.
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.