Fun Facts Friday: George Moore

February 24, 2023

George Moore (24 February, 1852 – 21 January, 1933) was an Irish novelist, poet, critic, and writer. Mr. Moore is often said to be the great modern Irish novelist and is known for his book Esther Waters.

Fun Facts Friday: George Moore
Portrait of Moore (1905). Housed at National Gallery of Ireland
Books by George Moore*

Fun Facts about George Moore:

  1. George Augustus Moore was born Moore Hall in County Mayo where his family lived for almost a hundred years. The family’s fortune came from selling wine, the family-owned land and trained racehorses.
  2. Young George Moore was a lazy student, his poor health didn’t help either. Eventually he was kicked out of school but was inspired by the likes of Sir Walter Scott and Mary Elizabeth Brandon to take up literature.
  3. When his father died, eighteen-year-old Moore suddenly got money to enjoy a bohemian life in Paris and immersed himself in Impressionism (an art movement known for small, thin brush strokes and accurate depiction of light) and Naturalism (the idea that only natural laws operate in the universe).
  4. George Moore failed as an artist and returned to England. He decided to become a writer and published his first novel in 1885 called A Modern Lover. The novel was clearly influence by French writer Emil Zola and was a crucial success, welcoming the author as an exciting new voice. The novel, however, was very controversial and was banned by the circulating libraries (lending libraries and rental libraries).
  5. In 1885, George Moore released his second novel, A Mummer’s Wife, which was also banned. The ban, however, prompted interest in the book as all bans do and, in a year, it went into its 14th edition. The next novel, A Drama in Muslin, was also banned which prompted Mr. Moore to declare war on the circulating libraries.
  6. Henry Vitzetelly, Moore’s publisher, started issuing translations of French realist novels which put a dent in the circulating libraries’ financial and moral influences. The case ended up in court, but Moore never left his publisher.
  7. George Moore’s writing about social issues such as gay sex, affairs, and sex workers was met with disapproval. However, the public wanted realistic fiction and he began to find commercial success.
  8. In the beginning of the 20th Century, George Moore returned to Ireland and became heavily involved in the Irish Literary Revival, which renewed interest in Celtic culture.
  9. In 1911 the author returned to London, where he would spend the rest of his life. He traveled to France, and even Jerusalem for research on his controversial novel The Brook Kerith (1916).
  10. George Moore was one of the first writers to follow the path of French realists and incorporate objectivism, social commentary, and detachment in their writings, while rejecting Romanticism. He influenced the likes of James Joyce.

Books by George Moore*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

Sources:

A Brief Overview of George Moore’s Writing – Victorian Web

Celtic and Irish Revival – British and Irish Literature – Oxford Bibliographies

George Moore (1852-1933) – Victorian Secrets

George Moore | Irish writer – Britannica

George Moore (novelist) – Wikipedia

National Portrait Collection – National Gallery of Ireland

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Fun Facts Friday: George Moore
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Fun Facts Friday: George Moore
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George Moore (24 February, 1852 – 21 January, 1933) was an Irish novelist, poet, critic, and writer. Mr. Moore is often said to be the great modern Irish novelist and is known for his book Esther Waters.
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