Thomas Moore.

Thomas Moore was born 28th May 1779 at 12 Aungier St, Dublin over his father’s grocery shop. His father was from Kerry Gaeltacht and his mother Anastasia Codd from Wexford. He had 2 younger sisters Kate and Ellen. Moore showed interest in music from a young age and was involved in the performing arts. He attended a number of schools and in 1795 he gained admission to Trinity College Dublin, ‘till then only admitted Protestants. In Trinity he became friendly with Robert Emmett, United Irishman, revolutionary, later executed. He then went to study law at the Middle Temple in London, but it was as a poet, translator, balladeer and singer that popularised him.

For much of his career as a poet he lived in London, but he had also travelled widely, spending time in Bermuda as registrar to the admiral, which he cut short, leaving and visiting the United States and Canada. Returned to London, was a frequent visitor to Ireland and Kilkenny, where he met Bessy Dyke and married her 1811. In 1820 he was exiled in Paris, during that time he toured France and Italy. He visited Ireland and Kilkenny with Lord Lansdowne in 1830 also gathering material for his biography on Lord Edward Fitzgerald. He spent the last thirty years of his life at Sloperton Cottage, Wiltshire

His most influential published work was his Irish melodies, published in parts between 1808 and 1837, which made him a national figure in Ireland and brought him huge international recognition. Among his more successful poetic publications, first published in 1813, was Intercepted letters, or The Twopenny post-bag. His Lalla Rookh, an oriental romance published in 1817, consolidated his literary reputation. Admired for his skills as a biographer, Moore was an early biographer of Brinsley Sheridan, Lord Byron, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Towards the end of his life he wrote a History of Ireland, a strongly partisan nationalist work, much criticised by his contemporaries for its lack of attention to primary sources. It was published in four volumes between 1835 and 1846. Thomas Moore was elected an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1846. He died in 1852.

After his death, Thomas Moore’s widow, Elizabeth Dyke (1796-1865), presented c. 1,200 of the books from his library to the Royal Irish Academy. It is a typical gentleman scholar’s library of the early nineteenth century, and includes classical titles and travel literature. Some 260 of the books are in French, and over 100 each in Latin and Italian. The collection includes some material of Irish interest, both political and historical, although the only books in Irish among Moore’s collection are titles that also contained an English translation. The collection has been retained virtually intact in the Council Room of the Academy, a room known also as the Moore Library. A bust of Thomas Moore (1838), by Thomas Kirk, RHA, sits on the mantelpiece of the room, and a portrait of Moore, which is a copy of a portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shee in the National Gallery, Dublin, hangs opposite the fireplace.





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