The essays in Parnell and His Island caused outrage in Ireland when first published in the French newspaper Le Figaro in 1886. They were published in English in book form the following year and represent Moore's interpretation of life in Ireland in the early 1880s, written in his combative and naturalistic style. In some respects the work addresses similar themes and can be seen as a companion piece to his famous novel, A Drama in Muslin. Moore, the eldest son of a Catholic landlord and Home Rule MP, spares neither landlords nor tenants, priests or nationalists in his narrative. Yet his depictions of the Irish landscape are often lyrical and memorable and he gives a vivid impression of the atmosphere of the country in the short period between the Land War and the Plan of Campaign. Until the publication of this edition Parnell and His Island was a rare book. Some sections included in the original French version, but expurgated by the English publisher, have been restored here, with translations, in the notes.
George Moore (1852-1933) was born at Moore Hall in Co. Mayo. He settled in Paris in 1873, first working as an artist and then as a writer, producing a prodigious output of novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, journalism and essays and became a leading realist writer. Apart from ten years in Dublin, Moore spent most of his life in England. Carla King lectures at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin. She is the editor of Michael Davitt: Collected Writings (2001), of Michael Davitt's Jottings in Solitary for Classics in Irish History (2003) and is writing a biography on the last twenty years of Davitt's life.