George Moore (1852-1933) was born at Moore Hall in Co. Mayo. He settled in Paris in 1873, first working as an artist and then as a writer, producing a prodigious output of novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, journalism and essays and became a leading realist writer. Apart from ten years in Dublin, Moore spent most of his life in England. Carla King lectures at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin. She is the editor of Michael Davitt: Collected Writings (2001), of Michael Davitt's Jottings in Solitary for Classics in Irish History (2003) and is writing a biography on the last twenty years of Davitt's life.
The essays in Parnell and His Island caused outrage in Ireland when first published in the French newspaper Le Figaro in 1886. They were published in English in book form the following year and represent Moore's interpretation of life in Ireland in the early 1880s, written in his combative and naturalistic style. In some respects the work addresses similar themes and can be seen as a companion piece to his famous novel, A Drama in Muslin. Moore, the eldest son of a Catholic landlord and Home Rule MP, spares neither landlords nor tenants, priests or nationalists in his narrative. Yet his depictions of the Irish landscape are often lyrical and memorable and he gives a vivid impression of the atmosphere of the country in the short period between the Land War and the Plan of Campaign. Until the publication of this edition Parnell and His Island was a rare book. Some sections included in the original French version, but expurgated by the English publisher, have been restored here, with translations, in the notes.
Introduction by Carla King
- The Castle, Shelbourne Hotel, Kildare Street Club, Mrs Rusville
An Irish country house
The house of an Irish poet
The tenant farmer
A castle of yesterday
A castle of today
A hunting breakfast
"Moore's fluent style and judicious ordering of his material make Parnell and His Island a very readable book. His beloved desolate landscape of lake and bog are a lyrical backdrop gripping documents that merit a place among 'Classics of Irish History'."
Journal of Irish Studies
"University College Dublin's 'Classics of Irish History' has established itself as a pleasing and important series ... King's edition of George Moore's Parnell and His Island combines a well-known Irish writer with a more elusive example of his work ... conforms to the attractive format of the series; the editing is exemplary."
Irish Studies Review
13 (4) 2005
"offers a new opportunity to reassess this much maligned but crucial text within Moore's writing."
English Literature in Transition 49
"Written in his combative and naturalistic style, it owes something in its approach to Balzac's Les Paysans ... Carla King's Introduction and detailed notes historicize this work, identify the passages that were suppressed as too inflammatory or offensive in the original publication, and establish the place this work holds in Moore's artistic development."
Irish Literary Supplement
"Elegantly produced with an attractive cover and illustrations, and a very useful biographical note listing major sources for Parnell's life, th book, like the work of the Parnell Society itself, achieves an impressive blend of scholarship and accessibility and will be of value both to historians of the period and the interested general reader."
The Irish Book Review
"University College Dublin Press has now published over thirty 'Classics of Irish History'. These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity."
"Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press."
Irish Literary Supplement