5th International George Moore Conference, June 3-6, 2011
Abstracts

 

 

FIFTH INTERNATIONAL GEORGE MOORE CONFERENCE

 

ABSTRACTS

 

George Moore’s Dana Polemic Revisited : a Plea for an Irish Théâtre Libre?

Dr Michel Brunet

University of Valenciennes

 

In the September 1904 issue of Dana, appeared a polemical article entitled “Stage Management in the Irish National Theatre”. The author was a certain Paul Ruttledge, forcibly bringing to mind the very name of the hero of W. B. Yeats’s play Where There is Nothing. It was not too difficult to assign the essay to George Moore inasmuch as both men of letters had had a quarrel about the paternity of the play.

            Moore’s searing attack was launched on William G. Fay and targeted at his lack of method in staging Yeats’s play, The Shadowy Waters, but it was a covert criticism of Yeats’s idea of a poetic national theatre. Moore was also probably resentful at having been eased out of the dramatic movement when the Irish Literary Theatre was dissolved.

            Drawing on a diversity of sources including letters, prefaces and reviews, the paper will seek to go beyond the anecdotal interest. It will place Moore’s essay within the broader context of the Irish Revival and set out to analyse its strategic discourse. Comparing Fay’s directing practices unfavourably with Antoine’s ground-breaking methods, the essay swerves into a sort of manifesto propounding artistic tenets directly derived from The Théâtre Libre. The paper will pay particular attention to the two examples that Moore gives to illustrate his point, namely Ibsen’s Ghosts and his own play The Strike at Arlingford.

            While he can hardly be regarded as a conduit of the Théâtre Libre in Ireland, it is interesting to note that, being informed by the advances being made in European Independent Theatres, Moore offers a modernistic, if not influential, alternative to the prevailing staging practices of the Irish National Theatre.

 

 

Atrophied Theatrical Instincts, Social Decline and Death: Unsuccessful Performances on the Social Stage

Maria-Granic White (Purdue University)

 

This project begins by setting a theoretical starting ground for the analysis to follow, an aesthetic framework of the conceptualization of the theatrical instinct based on psychoanalysis, Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and theatricality. This prolegomenon presents the human being’s capability for the theatrical instinct as a phylogenetic legacy whose site is the unconscious but which moves into the conscious by way of theatrical roles which individuals choose to play. Subsequently, this project establishes the causal relation between atrophied theatrical instincts and unsuccessful, baleful social performances by examining Kate Ede, the protagonist in George Moore’s A Mummer’s Wife (1885). A theatrical being himself, Moore successfully captures the atrophied theatrical instinct in a fictional theatrical being. Kate’s atrophied theatrical instinct becomes superseded by romance novels which formed her views, colonized her mind, and shaped her knowledge of the world. Unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy, Kate becomes a degraded sight. Because she atrophies her theatrical instinct, she engages in unnatural performances of domestic violence and parental neglect which lead to her daughter’s death. The dramatization of the theatrical instinct in this novel intimates that an atrophied theatrical instinct can beget abasement, anguish, and death.

 

A Peculiar Man? The dandyism of George Moore

Melanie Grundman (Independent Scholar/Cultural Scientist):

 

"I was born, I live, I shall die a peculiar man. I couldn't be commonplace, were I to try."

Moore was a born rebel, a freethinker and provocative critic and artist. He is characterized by an

aggressive individualism and once returned to Ireland - "the most impersonal country in the

world" - when the Gaelic League asked his support for the revival of the Irish language. The

author wanted to help the country produce individualities again - but failed. Moore himself,

however, remained a largely independent artist - introducing realism and naturalism to England,

fighting censorship, and developing his own style. This spiritual independence is a key

characteristic of dandyism. The dandy's intellectual originality is mirrored in his outward

appearance. While Manet commented on Moore's "somewhat eccentric appearance," Susan

Mitchell found that he was the only man "that walked fashionably" and, in fact, the only "man of

fashion" in Ireland at all. He was always able to appear "the most distinguished person present".

While Théodore Duret called him "a golden-haired fop, an aesthete long before Wilde became

infamous," George Moore is not commonly known as a dandy. An analysis of his persona,

however, reveals the intrinsic dandyism of George Moore. He unites the key dandy

characteristics: individuality, aestheticism, disdain for the mediocre world around him, unique

style, celibacy, impertinence, affectation, originality, egotism, wit, dilettantism, and the ability to

both fascinate and repel his audience at the same time.

 

George Moore: “the human symbol of a high explosive shell”?

Mary Pierse (University College Cork)

 

Where others saw a figure of fun or a squashed egg yolk, Susan Mitchell – in retrospect and probably for intensely personal reasons – interpreted the Manet portrait of George Moore in terms of volatile ordinance. Even if some Irish Revivalists had hoped for such fireworks, and later feared the incendiary in Hail and Farewell, the riches from the period of Moore’s Dublin sojourn appear to furnish little that differs in impact potential from the work of other ‘revival’ writers of that time and place.  When viewed alongside plays by Pádraic Colum and Edward Martyn, or the short stories of Pádraic Ó Conaire, poetry by James Stephens, or even mock-humorous contributions by Mitchell herself, GM’s compositions demonstrate artistry rather than polemic.

Juxtaposing selected writings by the authors mentioned, this paper intends to illustrate some approaches of the period, and to identify their shared qualities, ones that are less than highly provocative.

 

Irish Explorers of the Jordan Rift and the Euphrates Valley in the 1830's: Science, Adventure and Imperialism

Prof. Haim Goren, Tel-Hai Academic College

 

The fourth decade of the nineteenth century had been of a crucial importance to the British imperial interests in the Near East, concentrated primarily around two issues: the “Routes to India” and the danger of a southern advance by Russia into India or Egypt. The British anxiety was intensified by the two Turco-Egyptian campaigns, in 1832 and 1839-40. One of the most important outcomes of this rising interest was the intensive diplomatic and scientific involvement. The Euphrates Expedition led by Francis Rawdon Chesney and Henry Blosse Lynch as his deputy, had certainly been one of the significant results of this interest.

This decade saw also a concentrated British involvement in Palestine, including studies of different parts of the country and a survey conducted by military officers in 1840-41. The Jordan Rift valley was one of the most intensively studied regions, with the Dead Sea receiving the most attention. The first two people to conduct research with a boat, transferred via land from the Mediterranean, were the Christofer Costigan, a Maynooth student, and George Henry Moore of Moore Hall, Mayo.

The proposed paper describes the geo-religious interest in the Dead Sea as a motivation for its scientific study, the part of GH Moore in this research, and his possible connections with his neighbor, HB Lynch, while both were studying the Near East during the 1830's.

 

The recharacterization of Jesus Christ in the Brook Kerith (1916)

Akemi Yoshida (Kitasato University)

 

George Moore’s The Brook Kerith (1916) describes the process of the establishment of the Christian religion and the church mainly from the viewpoint of Joseph of Arimathea. Moore, who was a specialist in revisiting and editing his own literary works, took to rearranging and retelling the biblical narratives in this novel.

                Such retelling of the story of Christ, however, might not be deemed uniquely exceptional or conspicuous in the given cultural background. In Eikoku no Seiki matsu (The British fin-de-siécle) (1999), Yoshiyuki Fujikawa intriguingly points out that Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats shared a common interest in the image of Jesus Christ, suggesting that the concept of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ functioned as a backbone for the Irish Literary Revival. My paper will explore whether and how The Brook Kerith fits in that context, while also paying attention to the certain similarities this novel shares with such works as Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean (1885): in both of these novels, the main focus is on the main protagonists’ spiritual adventures and mental developments through their search for a believable, reliable system of values and ideas in the chaotic periods of ideological confusions.      

 

Revisiting George Moore's Letters: New Theories in Epistolary Life Writing

Elizabeth Grubgeld (Oklahoma State University)


Having treated Moore's letters previously in terms of their creation of narrative plots and their often precarious rhetorical manipulations of voice, I will revisit the letters in light of the work done in epistolary theory since the early 1990s.  That work furthers earlier studies of gender and epistolarity while drawing new attention to the material conditions of the post and the letter's articulation of space and time within its text and conventions.

 

George Moore and the Irish Revival: Moore’s Schopenhauerian epiphanies of anxiety

Jayne Thomas (Cardiff University)

 

Moore’s exploration of Schopenhauerian themes in his novels is well documented. Early novels like Mike Fletcher (1889) were structured around Schopenhauerian themes, with antithetical protagonists representing the world as will and the world as idea respectively. 

But for Schopenhauer, the world of will and the world of representation weren’t necessarily antithetical; rather, the world of will is, in effect, the underside of the world as representation (Rajan 1980: 36). By exposing the psychological substructure of the world of representation, Schopenhauer sought to de-idealise the ideal. In this way, idealism becomes genetically linked to anxiety as the conscious mind’s way of covering up a latent anxiety (Rajan 1980: 36). 

In this paper, I want to look at how Moore’s use of ‘idealist’ epiphany becomes a revelation of just such latent anxiety, as the psychological substructure of representation is revealed. I will do this by looking at Moore’s late-century novels and by showing how his use of epiphany in these novels reveals how representation and will are indeed interlinked rather than antithetical. In so doing, I hope to not only develop Moore’s links to Schopenhauer that move beyond the antithetical, but to develop the links between Moore, Schopenhauer and the Irish Revival.         

 

 

 

Female Vocation and Conventual Life in Moore’s narrative
Mª Elena Jaime de Pablos, University of Almería


As a consequence of the revitalization of Catholicism in Ireland 
during the 19th century, the number of nuns rose from 120 in 1800 to 
over 8,000 in 1901. Although nuns doubled the number of priests and 
septuplicated that of men in religious brotherhoods at the beginning 
of the 20th century, historical or literary accounts of the period 
seem to offer little evidence of their existence (1).  George Moore, 
however, devoted hundreds of pages to their portrayal.
This paper analyses extracts belonging to The Untilled Field, A Drama 
in Muslin, The Lake, Celibate lives and Hail and Farewell where George 
Moore describes female vocation and conventual life in late 19th 
century and early 20th century Ireland.
In these extracts, Moore very often undermines the stereotyped 
conception of nuns as spiritual and altruistic beings by depicting a 
great deal of them as women who lack real vocation, sound knowledge or 
helpful talents; as women who prove to have an epicurean taste, a 
visible tendency to get things cheap; or else, as women who feel no 
remorse when taking advantage of others beneath them in the conventual 
hierarchical  ladder.
However, though depicted in negative terms, Moore cannot feel but 
compassion for nuns, who waste their lives in convents as victims of 
dogmatism, prejudice and abuse.

New Perspectives: George Moore and Hannah Lynch

Dr Kathryn Laing (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)

 

When W. B. Yeats and George Russell had reached the fledgling stage as mystics and poets, Hannah Lynch was once invited to meet them at the house of a lady who has herself since found a lot of “copy in her early acquaintances. It may well have been the picture she drew of the superficialities of that little house-party – as she judged them – that inspired the style of George Moores Hail and Farewell of a more recent period” (Evening Herald, September 1918).

The suggestion of inspiration or even influence in relation to Hannah Lynch (1859-1904) and George Moore (1852- 1933) offers an intriguing glimpse of larger and more extended connections in the work of these two writers. Elizabeth Grubgeld has already noted that both were “Catholic in upbringing, but their social circles and their professional and financial expectations mirrored with minor variance those of their Protestant fellows”, Anglo-Irish Autobiography: Class, Gender and the Forms of Narrative, (2004), Syracuse University Press, p. xv). Almost exact contemporaries, Moore and Lynch frequented Dublin, London and Paris literary circles, both were acquainted with those involved in the literary revival, and they published their first novels, A Modern Lover (1887) and Through Troubled Waters (1885) within two years of each other. Both wrote “New Woman fiction set in Ireland and elsewhere, Moore from the standpoint of sympathetic observer and Lynch from the perspective of bitter experience.

This paper aims to introduce and examine some of the striking convergences as well as divergences in the lives and writing of Moore and Lynch, expanding further recent revisionist scholarship on these writers as well as on the „New Woman novel and the Irish fin de siècle.

Dr Kathryn Laing (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)

 

The Catholic Church, Celibacy and Women

Margaretta Darcy (Independent Scholar)

 

George Moore in ‘Vale’ writes; “I had caught sight of Cathleen Ni Houlihan... a voice heard... was one

that had to be obeyed... She intended to redeem Ireland from Catholicism. She has chosen me as her

instrument... The women of Ireland will come to me, crying, ‘at the bidding of our magicians we

have borne children long enough’”

George Moore was the only writer of the Irish Literary Revival to understand and pronounce that real change could only take place in Ireland with the removal of clerical control, in particular control over women. This makes him the most immediate of his contemporaries to our own 21st – century concerns. In my paper I will consider him as a seer and prophet in the comic mode. It is not

surprising that for too long he has slipped under the radar; it is encouraging therefore that this

conference is taking place; it would cheer him up no end that at last his voice is being heard.

 

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Travels of Albert Nobbs

Kerry Jones (Oklahoma State University)

 

                George Moore’s renowned short story “Albert Nobbs” has been studied extensively for its portrayal of a woman forced to assume the identity of a male domestic in order to find employment while also protecting herself from the incursions of a hostile world. A unique dimension to the text is revealed, however, when one analyzes the path of Nobbs’ travels from the maze-like environs of London to the grimy streets of Dublin. But what of the idyll she plans for Lisdoonvarna? Franco Moretti’s analysis of literary landscapes in Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 offers a framework for translating the landscape of Moore's narrative into a prominent subtext, especially in its conclusion as Nobbs’ sense of herself becomes intertwined with the dark evening streets of Dublin. Are Nobbs' travels directed toward an idealistic integration of self, or are they simple a futile attempt to escape a doomed life? A close reading of Moore’s text supplemented by maps of Nobbs’ travels can supply some interesting answers.

 

 ‘A Dreaming House’:  Representations of Moore Hall in the Writings of George Moore

 Dr Brendan Fleming (Independent Scholar)

 

Described by George Moore as a ‘dreaming house’, Moore Hall occupies a central place in his literary imagination. This paper explores the metaphorical and bibliographical figurations of his ancestral home in his writings. It is a key trope in his reading of Pater’s Marius the Epicurean of which Moore wrote:

At every page this story [Marius] seemed to have been written for me, and at moments it seemed as if Pater had divined not only my existence but even the very circumstance of my life, for Marius lived in an old family mansion, one which he was soon to leave to go to Rome, drawn thither by literature – a literary career having become a necessity through the extravagance of an ancestor; and my house, a Georgian mansion, standing on a hill-top, amid branching woods, was also neglected; like Marius’s house it had fallen into the lag end of its fortunes.

The paper argues that the image of Moore Hall demarcated a crucial literal and metaphorical space through which Moore interrogated his roles as Irish landlord, Francophile aesthete and Irish Revivalist.

After its destruction in 1923, Moore crafted a bibliographical resurrection and afterlife for the house, transforming it into the organising metaphor for the Carra (1922-24) and Uniform (1924-33) editions of his works. This process had begun with the Moore Hall edition (1921). These metaphorical reinventions of Moore Hall throughout Moore’s work are considered within the wider context of the literature and criticism of the Irish Big House.

 

Two Lakes

Conor Montague

 

This paper will be a comparative study of George Moore's The Lake and John McGahern’s That They May Face the Rising Sun, discussing different approaches to the prodigal theme and how this has developed over the century that separates the two novels. Moore’s Fr Oliver Gogarty comes to view the cyclical, repetitive nature of his life by the lake as representing a paralysis within, one that he must escape from. McGahern’s Joe Rutledge derives comfort from a similar landscape, the cyclical, repetitive nature of life in the west of Ireland representing liberation from the stresses of the modern city.   

The stylistic similarities of both writers when evoking lakeside landscapes of the west of Ireland is of interest, particularly in the context of their contrasting approaches to the development of consciousness, Moore with his focus on an individual, McGahern on an entire community. The influence of French realism will be discussed, as will both writers’ complex relationships with their homeland, in particular, their rejection of the Catholic Church, and how their respective prodigal experiences shaped The Lake and That They May Face the Rising Sun.

Naturalizing Ireland: Moore’s The Lake and Joyce’s Ulysses

Sophie Lavin (Stony Brook University)

 

I completed a review of recent scholarship on the Moore/Joyce relationship, and I have not found any critical inquiries exploring the motif of nature in their texts.

                So, rather than offer a distillation of their meetings in Dublin, or the numerous references to Moore in Ulysses, I would rather focus on how both authors naturalize Ireland, treating Moore’s text The Lake and Joyce’s Ulysses. A comparison of how Moore’s text positions the physical elements of nature (the lake, the trees, etc.) in underscoring  Fr. Gogarty’s human nature would be compared with Bloom’s religious fetishization of nature manifested by his fireplace mantel. In naturalizing Ireland, both authors offer us a glimpse of how we might understand the past, present and future of human nature.

 

More Moore in Joyce than Joyce in Moore?

MARK CORCORAN

 

Within The Untilled Field and Dubliners, George Moore and James Joyce use the form of the short story to explore the formation of identity, self and consciousness of the individual in a family and societal setting. This thesis will examine the interconnection between Moore and Joyce in their portrayal of language and the family in the structuring of identity.

The Untilled Field is a narrative illuminating the lives of section of society within a culture wrestling with ideas of identity. The main themes of the work are surround the paradigms of religion, politics and an identity engendered through the family. The impact of these stories in terms of narrative, character and theme are projected forth by the reader as a tool of comparison for the understanding of the other tales. This leads to a pattern of comparison throughout the work:

v  a comparison of character;

v  a comparison of narrative;

v  a comparison of psychological state.

These stories of Joyce contribute to an intertextual discourse upon the family in literature extending upon the work of Moore’s The Untilled Field. Just how does the challenge to the concept and the practice of the family expand from Moore and into the works of Joyce’s collection of short stories? Within both works the present reading of a story is perpetually haunted by the past and future of the book’s other stories. This can be called a ‘single-book-intertexuality’, where apparently separate stories reference and link to other stories through allusion, thus impacting upon the perception of the individual stories and the collection as a whole. 

 

 

 

The father of all my Five Town books’: The influence of A Mummer’s Wife on Arnold Bennett’s Anna of the Five Towns    

Ann Heilmann (University of Hull)

 

Writing to Moore in December 1920, Arnold Bennett acknowledged his indebtedness to the older author: the ‘lofty lyricism’ of his descriptions of the northern English potteries in A Mummer’s Wife (1885) had, he said, ‘opened my eyes to the romantic nature of the district I had blindly inhabited for over twenty years. You are indeed the father of all my Five Town books.’ In Fame and Fiction (1901), published a year before Anna of the Five Towns, Bennett had already celebrated Moore’s second novel as ‘more than a masterpiece; it is one of the supreme novels of the century, a work which stands out, original, daring, severe, ruthless, and resplendent, even amongst the finest’. With its merciless portrayal of the mental and bodily demise of a Zolaesque heroine, A Mummer’s Wife is indeed often considered Moore’s strongest contribution to naturalist fiction. His most singular, indeed ‘solitary’ achievement, in Bennett’s eyes, was to have brought to perfection, in the English novel, ‘the laborious scholarship of “local colour”’

This paper seeks to address the conference theme of ‘Moore’s literary legacy’ by examining the influence of A Mummer’s Wife on Bennett’s own deployment of ‘local colour’ in his first potteries novel, Anna of the Five Towns (1902). Both texts depict the Staffordshire potteries of Hanley and Burslem as sites of irreconcilable tension. Moore’s Hanley represents the aspect of a demonic furnace in daytime, but at dusk or sunrise its cauldrons, merging with the surrounding hills, effect a spectacular transformation into a sublime oceanic landscape. It is this clash of urban and rural contexts and realities, in particular the collision of environmental, psychological and hereditary forces, which first prompts Kate Ede to leave her Wesleyan marital home and sickly husband for the provincial actor Dick Lennox and an itinerant life on the stage, while later propelling her into the downward spiral of domestic violence and degenerative alcoholism. Similarly, Anna of the Five Towns explores the tragic dimensions of a young woman’s life against the background of the potteries, but here the heroine represses her most deep-felt impulses. Both novels engage with the protagonists’ intense desire to escape from their stern domestic regimes, in which Methodism is pitted against materialism; use visits to pottery factories as moments of crisis which determine later developments; and place the characters in alternative urban or rural settings which promise periods of reprieve but ultimately always prove illusory and end by inducing a nostalgic or literal return to their origins. While at the outset of their journey the potteries stand for a monotonous, regimented life which suffocates individual development, they later come to be idealised as psychological sanctuaries associated with stability and tranquillity. Intriguingly, the writer who at the turn of the century was to become a potent voice in the Irish Renaissance began as a local colourist of the English north. This paper suggests that the conflicted representation of A Mummer’s Wife’s Staffordshire as a place of satanic yet sublime force might be read as a first experiment on the journey that 15 years later would lead Moore to espouse the cause of the Irish Revival even as he set out to satirise Ireland and its revivalists. 

Moore and Hemingway

Stoddard Martin (University of London)

In Green Hills of Africa Hemingway breaks off from the miniutiae of big-game hunting to discuss literary matters. The attempt is to simulate chat as it might flow naturally over a drink after a day of shooting. One or two of Hemingway's companions have literary knowledge and views, but in general it is he who holds forth or, on one occasion, illustrates the 'literary anecdote'. Hemingway gives four examples of it, all banal. First is of a meeting with Joyce, second of many with Pound, third of a onetime spotting of George Moore and later failed attempt to visit him in Dublin, fourth reminiscence of Dos Passos. What is remarkable about the sequence is the place - indeed, presence - of Moore in it. What on earth did Hemingway know of the patrician Anglo-Irish aesthete or his work, and why should he be mentioned in such an improbable locale?

Moore died just before Hemingway went to Africa, The night before departing Hemingway had dinner with Joyce and would likely have described his intended experiment in autobiographical naturalism. His most revered of writerly colleagues would have doubtless responding by noting Moore precedents. Hemingway had read Hail and Farewell and recommended it; his Paris reminiscences would be continue and Americanize a genre Moore had pioneered in Confessions of a Young Man; Hemingway's wife read and admired Heloise and Abelard in the '20s. The question then is what Hemingway may have learned and taken from Moore, in the development of his naturalism, in the adaptation of French painterly practice (Cezanne vs Manet), in the use of autobiography, literary chat, writing itself and the aging of writers as topics, even in presentation of text.

 

Irish Landed Estates Project

Marie Boran/Brigid Clesham (NUI Galway)

 

We propose to give a brief slide presentation on the compilation of the database of sources for the study of landed estates in Connacht circa 1700-1920 and then to demonstrate how the database works with particular reference to the entries for the estates of the Moores and their neighbours.  To begin, a brief outline would be given of what is contained in each database entry. Coverage of the baseline sources used to identify estates, their owners and the country houses located on these estates would follow.  The most important aspect of the project was to identify the archival sources which document these estates and this could be exemplified by using the entry in the database relating to the Moore estate.  A look at some of the database entries for estates in the vicinity of Moorehall would follow to demonstrate how to navigate the database and to highlight its content. 

The Moores of Moore Hall
Michelle Reardon (Independent Scholar/Moore Family)

 

My topic for the 5th Annual George Moore Conference will be an overview of the Family’s history. Briefly, my Gran was Nina Moore, who married John Kilkelly, R.M. One of their daughters, Ethel Kilkelly was my Gran; she immigrated to Canada after Moore Hall was burnt down in 1923. My Mother, Rosamund Brickley, like all her siblings, speaks often and fondly of the Family’s history. A picture of George Moore has always hung in my Mother’s

house.

At any rate, the Family’s history is fascinating and I would like to present it beginning

with its origins, which entail the migration of one of Sir Thomas More’s sons to western

Ireland. I will discuss the highlights of succeeding generations and certainly include

reference to Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen and ancestress of the Browns of Westport

House; Louisa Brown married one of the Moores. Certainly I will include a story my

Gran told, about the Moore who was killed while racing in the Grand National and who

then appeared to his brother on the shores of Lough Carra - before new of his death had

travelled to Ireland. I believe that my “insider” knowledge will give the tale a unique

twist.

 

Moore Hall during the Famine 1845-1850

Fiona White (GMIT Castlebar)

 

Moore Hall is situated on the banks of Lough Carra in County Mayo. Construction on the house started in 1792 and was completed in 1795. The house was occupied continuously from 1795 until 1910. For 13 years it was unoccupied and then eventually destroyed by fire in 1923, during the Irish Civil War. From the beginning of their arrival in the Lough Carra region, the Moore family and their descendents were to contribute significantly to the political, social and cultural history of the local region and to wider national events. Moore Hall was one of around 7,000 landed estates in 19th-century Ireland.

The estate witnessed its most stable period during the mid 19th-century, under the proprietorship of George Henry Moore (1811-1870). George Henry was an illustrious statesman and respected landlord. The majority of the people living in the locality were associated in some way with the estate, whether as middlemen, agents, cottiers, landless labourers or big house and demesne servants. Using the collection of personal letters from the National Library of Ireland, this paper sets out to investigate George Henry Moore’s management of the estate during the famine of the 1840s with particular emphasis on his relationship with the Ballinrobe Relief Committee.