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Thomas Moore

Texts, Contexts, Hypertext

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Edited By Francesca Benatti, Sean Ryder and Justin Tonra

This collection traces new directions in the study of Thomas Moore (1779–1852) and examines the multiple facets of his complex identity, not only as the foremost Irish poet of his time, but also as a lyricist, satirist, polemicist, patriot and journalist. The range of contributors is interdisciplinary and international, and includes leading scholars of literature, music, history and digital humanities.
The essays collected here present a new assessment of Moore’s career and reflect on the future directions for Moore scholars enabled by digital resources and methodologies. They highlight Moore’s far-reaching influence on nineteenth-century European Romanticism, his formative participation in Whig political discourse and his central role in the construction of Irish identity from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

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Section 4 Old and New Media

Extract

K. C. O’Rourke Thomas Moore, John Stuart Mill, The Times and the Westminster Review The Westminster Review was among the most inf luential voices in nine- teenth-century British society. First published in 1824 by the eccentric philosopher Jeremy Bentham with the moral support of his intellectual disciple James Mill,1 the quarterly journal was launched as a mouthpiece for radical politics, an opposing voice to the Whig Edinburgh Review and the Tory Quarterly, both of which it attacked in the first issue.2 The Westminster espoused the utilitarian philosophy of Bentham, holding that human happiness rather than instinct or divine guidance is the foundation of morality. As such it promoted the idea and that the role of government was to promote the interests of the people at large rather than that which the ruling classes construed as the interests of the people. Its radicalism championed many of the distinctly Irish causes including land reform and Catholic Emancipation (in fact Bentham and Daniel O’Connell became 1 Bentham was at this stage an elderly lawyer and Westminster resident, whose contri- butions to political and legal reform, while enormous, were outshone in the popu- lar imagination by his contributions to the English language which include such words as maximize, minimize and international. William Hazlitt, a former tenant of Bentham who regularly missed his rent payments, famously depicted his landlord’s eccentricities as the first character in The Spirit of the Age (1825), where Moore was also portrayed. James Mill was the Scottish father of the...

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