Monday, February 21, 2011

Dr. John Moore

Physician and author John Moore, died on January 21, 1802.  His novel "Zeluco" influenced Lord Byron in his development of "Childe Harold".  In an article published in the periodical Eighteenth Century Fiction, author Gary Kelly draws a comparison between Moore's writing and Sir Walter Scott's, arguing that Moore properly should be considered a product of the Scottish Enlightenment.  According to Kelly, 'Moore's novels do contain Scottish characters and celebrate the poetry of Robert Bums (with whom Moore corresponded), and "national character" is one of the recurring themes, but there is not enough of the kind of stuff found in Maria Edgeworth's "Irish tales, Sir Walter Scott's, John Galt's, and James Hogg's Scottish novels to make Moore a "Scottish" novelist in the eyes of modem critics. Hart's book on The Scottish Novel, for example, does not mention Moore.  This is wrong. Moore's
novels in their form and subject matter are, as I have tried to argue, products and manifestations of the Scottish Enlightenment, a movement as Scottish as Scott's folk antiquarianism-indeed, Scott himself, in his folk antiquarianism (in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, the poems, and Waverley novels), was carrying out one of the lines of development of the Scottish Enlightenment. Moore's novels also reveal the same ambivalence about the relation of court, gentry, and professional classes found in Scott's far more popular exercises in the "invention of tradition" and the "imagined community" of the nation based in print culture.'

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