Friday, February 24, 2012

George Moore: Realism in Victorian England

George Moore
It is the birthday of Irish writer George Moore (1852), who originally wanted to be an artist and spent years as a teen and early adult in Paris in the 1870s among emerging painters like Degas, Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. Eventually he turned to writing. He was heavily influenced by the realist writing style of French novelist Emile Zola. He went to London and published Confessions of a Young Man (1886), in which he described bohemian life in Paris. Earlier he had published A Modern Lover (1883) in three volumes and A Mummers Wife (1885), both of which were sexually explicit and caused an uproar in literary circles. A later book, A Drama in Muslin (1886), satirizes the Anglo-Irish marriage trade. His book, Esther Waters (1894), tells the story of a poor kitchen maid in Victorian England who is seduced by a footman and then abandoned. She decides to raise her child as a single mother, a doubtful prospect at the time. It is considered his best novel.

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