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Boston College collection of George Moore

Collection MS-1999-019: Boston College collection of George Moore


  • Creation: 1887 - 1956
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1887 - 1923

Scope and Contents

This collection contains an annotated typescript of Moore's 1921 novel Heloise and Abelard, and correspondence by Moore. The collection also includes correspondence by Nancy Cunard to Dr. Frank Pleadwell concerning her memories of Moore and her mother Lady Maud Alice Burke Cunard. There is also an article by Mary Butler titled "An Al Fresco Irish Play in Dublin" concerning an Irish-language play written by Douglas Hyde which was performed in Moore's garden in 1902.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

George Augustus Moore was born on February 24, 1852 in Moore Hall, Barryglass, County Mayo, Ireland. He was the eldest son of Mary Blake Moore and George Henry Moore. The Moores were a prominent Catholic family who owned a 12,000-acre estate and his father, George Henry Moore, was considered to be one of the more radical members of British Parliament. In 1870, his father died and the ownership of the family estate and business passed into Moore's hands.

After living in London, Moore moved to Paris and studied painting at several academies and private studios. He met many influential artists including Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Emile Zola. Moore was determined to become a writer and began studying modern French literature. He regarded Balzac as a great influence upon his life and was also influenced by the writings of Théophile Gautier and Stéphane Mallarmé. In addition to writing poetry, he co-wrote a verse-play entitled Martin Luther (1879) with Bernard Lopez.

The family estate's economic difficulties forced Moore's return to England. He began publishing his poetry collections, but these met with little success and instead he turned to prose writing. A Modern Lover (1883) dealt with an unscrupulous artist's exploitation of women; the work was banned by two major lending libraries. This work was followed by another realist novel The Mummer's Wife (1885) and a critique against lending libraries entitled Literature at Nurse; or Circulating Morals (1885). Moore published A Drama in Muslin in 1886, a satirical treatment of Irish society and politics. His depiction of landlord society angered many members of Moore's own social class. Confessions of a Young Man (1888) was a fictionalized autobiographical account of his days in Paris.

Moore was also regarded as an influential critic of literature and art, publishing articles in magazines and newspapers. These were later collected in Impressions and Opinions (1891) and Modern Painting (1893). The latter work introduced many of his generation to the art of the French Impressionists and the New England Art Club. He also continued writing novels. During this period, he published A Mere Accident (1887), Spring Days (1888), Mike Fletcher (1889), Vain Fortune (1891), and Esther Waters (1894).

In 1897, Moore was introduced to William Butler Yeats and became an ally in the efforts to establish an Irish national theater. He also collaborated with Yeats on Diarmud and Grania (1901). In 1901, Moore moved to Dublin and for the next decade became actively involved in Irish artistic and political movements. During this period, he did less writing but aided in the establishment of the Irish Renaissance. Though not an Irish speaker, he supported the Irish language movement and allowed his material to be translated by the Gaelic League. His chief works of the period were two novels, The Untilled Field (1903) and The Lake (1905), and another fictionalized autobiography, Memoirs of My Dead Life (1906).

In 1911 Moore returned to London and resided there until his death. He published his monumental fictionalized autobiography Hail and Farewell in three volumes: Ave (1911), Salve (1912) and Vale (1914). Other books from his remaining years include the novels Brook Kerith (1916), A Storyteller's Holiday (1918), Heloise and Abelard (1921), Ulick and Soracha (1926), and the conversational memoirs Avowals (1919) and Conversations in Ebury Street (1924). Moore spent much time publishing expensive limited editions of his works. George A. Moore died on January 21, 1933 and his ashes were buried on Castle Island in Lough Carra, within sight of Moore Hall.


"George Moore" in The Dictionary of Irish Literature edited by Robert Hogan (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996): 860-867.

"George Moore" in The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature edited by Robert Welch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996): 373-375.


1 Linear Feet (4 containers )

Language of Materials



Collection of materials related to Irish author George Moore (1852-1933), including an annotated typescript of Heloise and Abelard, correspondence, and an article.


The bulk of the collection was donated to Boston College by J. Harry Lynch in 1958 and 1960. Mr. Lynch purchased the material from Dr. Maury A. Bromsen of Boston, MA. The Heloise and Abelard typescript was a Library purchase from George Robert Minkoff, Inc. in 1999.

Boston College Collection of George Moore
1887-1956 (bulk 1887-1923)
Edward Copenhagen
Spring 2001
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States