Irish poet. Among his works are the verse romance Lalla Rookh (1817) and Irish Melodies (1807–34), for which the music was arranged by John Stevenson (1761–1833); the songs include ‘The Minstrel Boy’ and ‘'Tis the Last Rose of Summer’. Moore also showed himself to be a master of satire in Intercepted Letters; or Twopenny Post-bag (1813; written under the name of Thomas Brown the Younger), in which he lampooned the Prince Regent and his associates. He wrote a biography of the poet Byron.
Moore was born in Dublin and went to London as a law student of the Middle Temple. In 1803 he was appointed Admiralty registrar in Bermuda; the work was assigned to a deputy who later defaulted for about £6,000, leaving Moore to pay the debt. In 1801 his Poems by the Late Thomas Little appeared, and six years later the first of the Irish Melodies were published; they were to prove his most lasting achievement, while Lalla Rookh, with its Eastern setting, was one of the most popular books of the day. The amusing Fudge Family in Paris appeared 1818, written in the manner of The Twopenny Post-bag.
Turning to prose, Moore published The Memoirs of Captain Rock 1824, an ironic and effective indictment of English policy in Ireland. His long-meditated Life of Sheridan appeared 1825, but was not as successful as anticipated. Moore had also met and become friendly with the poet Byron, who gave him his memoirs to help with his financial difficulties. Moore deposited these with the publisher John Murray, but, when Byron died 1824, Murray, after consulting the poet's family, burned the manuscript in his office fireplace.
Selected Poetry of Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
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