Ireland's Minstrel

Ireland's Minstrel : A Life of Tom Moore, Poet, Patriot and Byron's Friend

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'He will live in his "Irish Melodies", they will go down to posterity with the music; both will last as long as Ireland, or as music and poetry' - Lord Byron. In this enthralling new biography of Thomas Moore, Linda Kelly evokes the life and times of a great Irish writer - romantic poet, political satirist, pioneering biographer and above all creator of the "Irish Melodies", those heartfelt lyrics set to traditional Irish airs by which he is best remembered. Tom Moore, a Dublin grocer's son, was a student at Trinity College, Dublin, at the time of the doomed Irish rising of 1798. The experience intensified his sense of identity as an Irish Catholic, and though his charm and talents won him entry to the highest reaches of English society, he never lost sight of his own country's causes, and through his songs and satires became one of Ireland's most eloquent and persuasive advocates. Immensely successful in his lifetime, though always dogged by poverty, Moore was ranked with Walter Scott and Byron; his oriental epic Lalla Rookh was more widely translated than any other poem of the period.
But like most modern readers Moore himself was in no doubt about the pre-eminence of the Irish Melodies, still known and loved on both sides of the Atlantic. The recent discovery of Moore's original journals provides fascinating new material on Moore's social and literary life, not least the vexed episode of the burning of Byron's memoirs. Linda Kelly draws extensively on these to give a warm and insightful picture of one of the most delightful figures of the age, capturing the charm of Whig society and casting new light on his relationship with Byron.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 271 pages
  • 162 x 236 x 30mm | 580.61g
  • I.B.Tauris
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1845112520
  • 9781845112523
  • 566,514

Review quote

'An enchanting biography of an enchanting man' Christopher Bland, Books of the Year, Sunday Telegraph' This fine, affectionate biography restores the much-lovedbut- too-long-forgotten author of Irish Melodies to his proper place in the Romantic pantheon. It makes excellent use of the newly published six volumes of Moore's journals and gives a scintillating picture of Regency London.' Richard Holmes 'Linda Kelly adds another winner to her gallery of Regency portraits with Tom Moore, the Irish poet who was Byron's best friend, outsold Wordsworth and charmed a whole society - a sparkling and delightful book.' Claire Tomalin Literary Review, 1 September 2006 'Nothing is more difficult to convey in a biography than the personal charm of its subject...and it is greatly to Linda Kelly's credit that she triumphantly does so.' - P.J. Kavanagh Irish Independent Sat September 2 2006. 'Linda Kelly has written a fast moving and extremely readable biography of the Irish Minstrel.' - Caethal MacCabe. Irish Independent, Sunday 10 September 2006. 'Linda Kelly's balanced and fluent writing gives a fresh insight into Thomas Moore.' Ireland on Sunday, 27 August 2006. 'Kelly's meticulously researched and entertaining book seeks to rescue Moore from snobbish critics and show his true achievement.' - Alex Moffat. Spectator, 26 August 2006. 'Linda Kelly tells the story with pace, clarity and an appropriately elegant touch. David Crane. Sunday Times (Biography) 'Pleasingly succinct biography'. - Miranda Seymour.BYRON JOURNAL'this fascinating biography''If any single work is capable of bringing about the kind of wide-scale revaluation of Moore predicted by Kelly, it is her own.''her study leaves no doubt as to the breadth and relevance of Moore's writing or his place at the centre of the literary, social and political life of the Romantic period'
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About Linda Kelly

Linda Kelly's previous books include The Young Romantics,Women of the French Revolution and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of the Wordsworth Trust. Her husband is the writer, Laurence Kelly; they live in London but spend some time each year in Ireland, where they have a cottage on the Wexford coast.
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