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Thomas Moore

Moore, Thomas, 1779–1852, Irish poet, b. Dublin. He achieved prominence in his day not only for his poetry but also for his love of Ireland and personal charm. A lawyer, he was for a time registrar of the admiralty court in Bermuda. He is remembered today for Irish Melodies, a group of lyrics published between 1808 and 1834 and set to music by Sir John Stevenson and others; the songs include several of lasting fame, such as "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms,""Oft in the Stilly Night," and "The Harp That Once through Tara's Halls." His amusing satires, Intercepted Letters; or, The Two-Penny Post Bag (1813) and The Fudge Family in Paris (1818), were widely read, and the long poem Lalla Rookh (1817), a lush romance of India and the Middle East, was one of the most popular poems of his day. Byron, who was his friend, left him his memoirs, which Moore later—on the advice of Byron's executor and friends—destroyed. His biography of Byron appeared in 1830 and is among his best prose works.

See biography by H. J. Jordan (2 vol., 1975); study by T. Tessier and J. Hogg (1981).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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