chapter  9
16 Pages

Anacreon Moore and the Prince of Pleasure

George IV as Satiric Inspiration
WithJeffery Vail

Traveling by coach in 1818, Thomas Moore was amused to hear a fellow passenger praising his works, unaware that he was in the presence of the poet himself. Moore's Journal records that the gentleman "quoted abundantly & with much delight from the Fudge Family 'by Anacreon Moore', but said he could never forgive the said Anacreon Moore for his 'terrible & atrocious abuse' of the Prince". The allusions to Odes of Anacreon, to erotic lyrics from "Little's Poems" and to his sole novel, The Epicurean associate Moore with pleasures of the senses, particularly erotic love and drinking. The poem's bantering anapaests were a creative breakthrough for Moore, and would become his signature satirical style for the rest of his career. Moore invites the reader to identify the "wandering bard" who speaks in the poem with himself, and Spenser with moral critics of Moore's poetry, especially Francis Jeffrey.