Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Moore, George Augustus
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Irish novelist. In his early work he introduced an element of the realism associated with the French novelist Emile Zola, revitalizing the Victorian novel. His debut A Modern Lover 1883 was sexually frank for its time and was banned in some quarters. His Esther Waters 1894 is a masterpiece of realism, recounting the life of a domestic servant.

Life Moore was born in County Mayo but educated in England at Oscott College, Birmingham, and destined for the army. His inclination, however, was towards painting, though he began by writing poetry: his Flowers of Passion appeared 1878. As a young man he studied painting in Paris, and Modern Painting 1893 displays his intimate knowledge of the work of contemporary artists. He remained in Paris for ten years, but was recalled to London as a result of the Land League agitation, having already decided that he was not a painter. As a writer, Moore later revised and largely rewrote almost all his chief works.

Early worksConfessions of a Young Man 1888 (revised 1904 and 1916) records his early life with an openness that aroused much discussion. Among his realist novels are A Mummer's Wife 1885, Evelyn Innes 1898, and Sister Theresa 1901. His lively interest in the Irish movement is revealed in the comedy The Bending of the Bough 1900 and the stories in The Untilled Field 1903.

Later worksHail and Farewell, comprising Ave 1911, Salve 1912, and Vale 1914, is a trilogy of candid autobiographical revelations. With the chief exception of In Single Strictness 1922 (reissued 1927 as Celibate Lives), his later work is concerned with historical themes, and he moved aside from straightforward realism to evolve a ‘melodic tone’ and highly finished style combining the immediacy of the storyteller's voice with flowing, carefully modulated rhythms. The Brook Kerith 1916 (a rationalistic interpretation of the story of the Crucifixion) and Heloïse and Abelard 1921 are examples of this style. He also published some poetry, art criticism, and a number of plays.


Moore, George Augustus

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Moore, George [Augustus] (1852-1933)
Brewer's Dictionary of Irish Phrase and Fable

Novelist. He was born on 24 February 1852 at Moore Hall, Ballyglass, Co. Mayo, the home of his Catholic landlord father. He went to Paris to...

Full text Article Moore, George (Augustus) (1852 - 1933)
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

The son of an Irish MP, he was born at Ballyglass in Mayo and educated at Oscott College in Birmingham. He spent ten years in...

Full text Article Moore, George (1852 - 1933)
The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature

He combined an aestheticism in tune with the aesthetic movement at the end of the 19th century, and the Celtic revivalism that...

See more from Credo