Thomas Moore a conduit to Ancient Ireland
As part of our 2023 Bloomsday celebrations we reflect
on the influence of Thomas Moore on James Joyce
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In Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” Stephen Dedalus comments on "the droll statue of the national poet of Ireland" in College Street yet when he returns home he is deeply affected when he hears his brothers and sisters singing Moore's "Oft in the Stilly Night".

Thomas Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’ were published in 10 volumes 1808 to 1834 and included  "The Last Rose of Summer", "The Minstrel Boy", "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms", "Oft in the Stilly Night".

The airs were remnants from the medieval Irish Bardic tradition collected by Edward Bunting. Moore not only reproduced the rhythm of Gaelic poetry, but he incorporated its metrical structure and reintroduced a powerful range of trisyllabic effects into English verse.  
When Edgar Allen Poe read the lyric of Moore’s that begins “At the mid-hour of night,” he recognized a distinctive metrical achievement and the last book he read was Moore's Irish Melodies.

Byron said he knew them all "by rote and by heart" and setting them above epics celebrated Moore’s "peculiarity of talent, or rather talents, – poetry, music, voice, all his own".  Sir Walter Scott conceded that neither he nor Byron could attain Moore's power of adapting words to music.

Marsh’s Library in Dublin provided access to a Greek poet from the 5th century BC and Moore inhabiting the spirit of the Ionian dialect captured the tonal aspect in his very successful translation “The Odes of Anacreon”.
Moore admitted to Trinity College in 1795 became close friends with Robert Emmett and after the 1798 rebellion when he was executed Moore remembered him in the song "O, Breathe Not His Name". In 1843 Daniel O'Connell at a huge gathering at the Hill of Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland included a harpist playing Moore's "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls”.
Joyce learned Moore’s songs as a boy from his mother, Mary Jane Murray who studied music and dancing from the age of five.  Louis Gillet remembers Joyce in Paris,  ‘Often in the evening, or rather about two o'clock in the morning, whenever he felt in the mood, he sat at the piano and started to shed his treasury of Irish melodies. We remained suspended on the doleful and nostalgic cadences; we could have spent all night listening to the nightingale.' 
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Image top of page Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 - 25 February 1852). Image above James Joyce at piano with son Georgio (1938)
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BLOOMSDAY is the 16th of June 1904 and is the day on which all the action of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place. “Ulysses” by James Joyce was published in Paris in 1922 and every year around the world people gather to read aloud extracts from a book.
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1904 map of Joyce's Dublin - 1 - 24 locations with page references to "Ulysses"
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1 James Joyce Cultural Centre | 35 North Great George’s Street

The permanent exhibit includes the door to number 7 Eccles Street, home of Leopold and Molly Bloom .
"I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book." - James Joyce in conversation with Frank Budgen.
belvedere college
2 Belvedere College | Great Denmark Street
James Joyce attended Belvedere from 1893-98. In “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” Joyce has his fictional counterpart, Stephen Dedalus, ruminate on the prospect of becoming a Jesuit while at Belvedere.
3 St George’s Church | Hardwicke Place
3 st georges church

James Joyce includes St. George’s Church and its bell-ringing in “Ulysses”. The bells “ tolled the hour: loud dark iron. Heigho! Heigho! Heigho!"
4 Number 7 Eccles Street
The home of Leopold and Molly Bloom and where Bloom begins and ends his wanderings in Ulysses. Joyce visited this house when he went to see his friend John Francis Byrne who lived here in 1909.
Read Breakfast at 7 Eccles Street ULYSSES CALYPSO 65-85
5 Glasnevin Cemetery
Paddy Dignam and Michael Cusack (the Citizen) are buried here and Joyce’s father John Stanislaus Joyce. “Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland's hearts and hands.”.
Read Dignams’s Funeral ULYSSES HADES 107-147
7_Gresham_Hotel 6 Gresham Hotel | 23 Upper O’Connell StreetThe location for the final part of Joyce’s beautiful short story “The Dead” “His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world…”
7 The Joyce Statue | North Earl Street
In the Heart of the Hibernian Metropolis there is a life-sized statue of James Joyce just off O’Connell Street and near to the GPO. Erected in 1990, the statue, was created by US sculptor Marjorie Fitzgibbon.
8 O’Connell Bridge
Leopold Bloom stops on O’Connell Bridge to feed the seagulls Banbury cakes. Here you cross over the River Liffey which was immortalized as Anna Livia Plurabelle in “Finnegans Wake”.
Read Lunchtime in Dublin ULYSSES LESTRYGONIANS 190-234
9 Night Town | James Joyce Street
James Joyce Street was originally called Mabbot Street which was the entrance to the red light ‘Monto’ area in Dublin. It is the setting of the Circe episode in Ulysses.The Mabbot street entrance of nighttown, before which stretches an uncobbled tram-siding set with skeleton tracks, red and green will-o’-the-wisps and danger signals.
Read The brothel at the bewitching hour ULYSSES CIRCE 561-703
10 Cabman’s Shelter | Butt Bridge
In the Eumaeus episode in Ulysses, Bloom and Stephen stop at the cabman’s shelter, just north of the Liffey, for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee. It is patronized by a ‘miscellaneous collection of waifs and strays and other nondescript specimens’. It no longer exists.
Read Cabman's shelter ULYSSES EUMAEUS 704-776
11 North Wall Quay
This is where James Joyce and Nora Barnacle left Ireland on October 8th, 1904. It is also the setting for the short story “Eveline” from Dubliners. “She stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held her hand and she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about the passage over and over again” .
12 Sweny’s Chemist | 1 Lincoln Place
Leopold Blooom goes to Sweny's to order some orange flower and whitewax skin lotion for his wife. He also picks up a bar of lemon soap, promising Mr Sweny to come back later to pay - a promise he forgets to keep.
Read Henry Flower ULYSSES LOTUS-EATERS 85-107
13 The National Maternity Hospital | Holles Street

Stephen Dedalus in drunken late night conversation with three medical students (Dixon, Lynch, and Madden). Mr. Bloom arrives to enquire about Mrs. Purefoy, who has been in labour for three days and rescues Stephen.
Read Holles Street Hospital ULYSSES OXEN OF THE SUN 499-561
14 Finn’s Hotel | Leinster Street
On the afternoon of the 10th of June 1904, James Joyce first laid eyes on his future wife Nora Barnacle as she stepped out of Finn’s Hotel where she worked as a chamber maid. They had their first date six days later and he cast the action of Ulysses on that day, 16 June.
15 The National Library | Kildare Street
This beautiful building, designed by Thomas Newenhan Dean, is featured prominently in the Scylla and Charybdis episode in Ulysses.
Read The National Library ULYSSES SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS 235-280
16 Davy Byrnes | 21 Duke Street
Davy Byrnes PUB

Bloom enjoyed lunch here, a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of Burgundy wine. “Tom Kernan can dress. Puts gusto into it. Pure olive oil. Milly served me that cutlet with a sprig of parsley. Take one Spanish onion. God made food, the devil the cooks.”.
Read Lunchtime in Dublin ULYSSES LESTRYGONIANS 190-234
newman house
17 UCD Newman House | 85–86 St. Stephen’s Green
James Joyce was a student here before graduating with a BA in 1902. It features in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It is now the site of MOLI, The Museum of Literature Ireland.
18 Volta Cinema | Mary Street
volta cinema

James Joyce visiting from Trieste founded the Volta Cinema, Ireland’s first dedicated cinema on Mary Street in 1909. It opened on Monday 20 December, 1909 to a select audience.
19 Barney Kiernan’s Pub | 8-10 Little Britain Street
The pub is the scene for the Cyclops episode in Ulysses where we meet the Citizen, based on the real-life character of Michael Cusack, founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).”So we turned into Barney Kiernan’s and there, sure enough, was the citizen”.
Read Kiernan's Pub ULYSSES CYCLOPS 376-449
20 Ormond Hotel | 7-11 Upper Ormond Quay
Bloom carefully avoids being seen by Boylan as he enters the dining room of the Ormond Hotel and absorbed in listening to the fine musicianship on the piano decides it must be Father Cowley.
Read Concert at the Ormond Hotel ULYSSES SIRENS 328-376
21 The Dead House | 15 Usher’s Island
dead house

The house at 15 Usher’s Island is the setting for the Morkan Sisters’ annual Christmas party in the short story “The Dead”. The setting is based on the actual home of maternal aunts of Joyce’s mother, known as the Misses Flynn. The house faces on to the James Joyce Bridge which was opened on 16 June, 2003.
sandymount sound
22 Sandymount Strand
Stephen Dedalus takes a morning walk on Sandymount Strand. In the evening Leopold Bloom watches the colourful display from the Mirus Bazaar fireworks with Gertie McDowell. “Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand?“.
Read Stephen on Sandymount Strand ULYSSES PROTEUS 45-64
23 Sandycove Tower
martello tower

Ulysses begins in the Martello Tower in Sandycove, just south of Dublin, at 8:00 am on the morning of June 16th, 1904. Buck Mulligan calls to his friend Stephen Dedalus to come join him in the morning air. "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.".
Read Breakfast at the Martello Tower ULYSSES TELEMACHOS 1-28
24 The School | Summerfield, Dalkey Avenue
Stephen Dedalus is a teacher in Mr. Deasy’s school for boys in Dalkey. Mr. Deasy asserts that Stephen was ‘not born to be a teacher’. Stephen agrees, claiming that he’s ‘a learner rather’.
Read Stephen at school ULYSSES NESTOR 28-45