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Moore 1779 ' 1852
Ireland's national poet, Thomas Moore, began life as the son of a Dublin
grocer. After attending Trinity College following an easing of the anti-Catholic
Penal Laws, he travelled to London, where he became well-connected to fashionable
society and known for his musical prowess.
In 1803, Moore accepted a civil post in Bermuda, but quickly left when
he found the position unsuitable. After travelling through North America,
he returned to England and began writing in earnest. The first volume of
his epic collection Irish Melodies was released in 1807 to wide praise.
Over the next 27 years, Moore would complete 10 volumes of Melodies. The
ballads, set to traditional Irish folk music, sealed his place in Irish
history and gave the world such delightful songs as The Last Rose of Summer
and The Minstrel Boy.
A clever social critic and advocate of Catholic Emancipation, Moore couched
his astute and cutting observations of the ill-treatment afforded the Irish
by their British colonizers in a series of skilfully-wrought poems that
remain as interesting and pertinent today as they were nearly two centuries
Moore's literary output was quite prolific, numbering over forty works
of essay, poetry, journals, and letters, including a posthumous biographical
collection of his dear friend Lord Byron. Moore died on February 25, 1852,
in Wiltshire, England.