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The Life of George Moore - A Brief Chronology

  • 1852 - George Augustus Moore was born in County Mayo, Ireland, on 24 February, 1852, the eldest son of George Henry Moore, Catholic landlord and MP, and Mary Blake Moore (Blakes of the Galway 'Tribes'). His siblings were Augustus, a journalist; Julian, a musicologist and 'lost soul'; Nina, who married into the Anglo-Irish Kilkelly family; and Maurice, British colonel and then Free State Senator.

  • 1861-68 - He was educated at Oscott, a Catholic boarding school, until he was fifteen. 

  • 1873 - After his father’s sudden death, once Moore turned twenty-one, he went to Paris in 1873 to become a painter. Over the next six years, he became acquainted with Mallarmé, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pisarro, Turgenev, Alexis and Zola.

  • 1879 - During the Land War, he returned briefly to Ireland, then went to London to take up a career in writing - poetry at first, then plays, articles,  translations, and novels. His biggest hits were A Mummer's Wife (1885), Confessions of a Young Man (1889), and Esther Waters (1894). 


  • 1894 - Meets Maud Burke, Lady Cunard, who was to become the core and heart of Moore's adult relationships (among many secondary, real & irreal). Her one child, Nancy, may have been fathered by George Moore; given the circumstances, parentage was uncertain. 


  • 1901 - Moore moved to Dublin for 10 years, playing a part in  the Irish Literary Revival (see The Untilled Field 1903). 

  • 1911 - Moore returned to London where he lived to his death in 1933

  • Moore was the first English naturalist writer (A Mummer's Wife, 1885) and the first (Dujardin-inspired) stream-of-consciousness writer (The Lake, 1905).

  • His autobiographies (Confessions of a Young ManMemoirs of My Dead Life, and Hail and Farewell) are ground-breaking;  he was a forerunner of today's writers of personal nonfiction. He was intrepid as an explorer of human sexuality (Albert Nobbs) and a champion of literary freedom (Literature at Nurse). 

  • In his later career, he reimagined some of the great historical stories: the lives of Jesus, Héloïse and Abélard, and Daphnis and Chloe; his use of the Wagnerian melodic line of interwoven leitmotifs was innovative and effective.

  • 1933 - George Moore died at Ebury Street, London on 21 January 1933. His ashes are buried on Castle Island, Lough Carra, in sight of Moore Hall.

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