chapter  10
26 Pages

The Influence of Thomas Moore in the Nineteenth-Century Greek-Speaking World

WithKathleen Ann O’Donnell

This chapter reveals how fratriotism – a blend of combative writing against imperialism found in Irish and Scottish romanticism – was used by the Irish scholar Thomas Moore in his In Imitation of Ossian (1797) to attack despotism in suppressed Ireland. Moore’s Imitation, in combination with The Poems of Ossian by the Scottish scholar James Macpherson, was republished in Dublin’s The Celt in 1857. Five years later, Moore’s stab at colonialism, although defensive, was emulated by Greek radical scholars in the British Protectorate of the Ionian Islands (1815–1864). Under threat of divide and rule by foreign imperialism, Ossian was used as a rallying cry in an attempt to unite people of different faiths in the Balkans and Anatolia to live in peaceful brotherhood under a Democratic Eastern Federation, founded in Athens and Bucharest in 1868 by the main Greek translator of this Celtic poetry. The presence of the Ossianic poetry of Moore and of his friend Lord Byron in the Seven Islands, Athens, and Bucharest – sometimes in French translation – will be revealed, as will evidence regarding Moore’s Irish Melodies.