George MooreGeorge Augustus Moore (1852-1933) was born in County Mayo, Ireland, the eldest son of a wealthy landed family. After a desultory education, which ended in expulsion from his English boarding school, he decided to pursue an artistic career. His father’s death in 1870 left him financially independent, and shortly afterwards he moved to Paris to study painting. While there he mixed freely in bohemian circles, coming under the influence of Monet, Zola and other leading lights of French culture.

In 1880, Moore returned to Ireland and decided to give up painting for literature. He moved to London and published his first book, A Modern Lover (1883), which was immediately banned by the circulating libraries. This was followed by other novels in the French ‘realist’ tradition, including A Mummer’s Wife (1885), Esther Waters (1894), Evelyn Innes (1898) and Sister Teresa (1901).

In 1901, Moore left London for Dublin and became an important figure in the Irish Revival. Together with W. B. Yeats, he became heavily involved in the planning of what was to become the Abbey Theatre, a period which he later recorded in Hail and Farewell.

In 1903 he published his first collection of short stories, The Untilled Field, and this was shortly followed by The Lake in 1905. He then returned to London and wrote further novels, including The Brook Kerith (1916) and Heloise and Abelard (1921), and a second collection of short stories, Celibate Lives (1927).

The Ebury edition of George Moore’s collected works ran to 20 volumes and was published shortly after his death.