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For Moore, socializing usually had an element of networking to it. His journal records various social encounters with Lord Burghersh (John Fane, 11th Earlof Westmorland), including an instance of dining with the latter in Florence on 23 October 1819. Burghersh was a keen composer, and his settings of many of Moore’s lyrics were published by Moore’s regular music publisher James Power. This working relationship surely strengthened Moore’s ties to an elite class whose support and regard were of considerable practical importance to him. Indeed, at this particular dinner Moore learned that Burghersh’s setting of the song ‘Bendemeer’s Stream’ from Lallla Rookh had inspired a translation of the song into Italian. Moore’s profile in Italy was likely enhanced by his association with Burghersh, as the latter held various diplomatic posts there between 1814 and 1831 and so would have been a man with contacts and influence.


 Bendemeer's Stream Burghersh Title page

Image courtesy of Special Collections, McClay Library

Moore sometimes picked up gratifying news about how his works were faring while dining with his well-connected acquaintances. During his dinner at the Palais Royal (27 Feb. 1821) he learned a “rather flattering piece of news”— a month previous, the Court of Berlin had “represented in character” the story of Lalla Rookh, with Britain’s Duke of Cumberland assuming a small role as the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (the music, by Gasparo Spontini, is not mentioned in Moore’s account). The event was reported by Chateaubriand “as the most splendid & tasteful thing he had ever seen”.  A “Lady of Honour” at the Paris dinner even offered to translate the German programme for Moore’s benefit. Much later, in June 1847, Moore mentioned another production,  “founded upon ‘Lalla Rookh,’ [which] was brought out this year at the Queen’s Theatre; and the example was followed promptly by many of the minor theatres … “. Moore goes on to report performances of various settings of his songs from Lalla Rookh that had recently taken place at the Welsh singer-pianist John Parry’s May 1847 concert in the prestigious venue of London’s Hanover Square.

Moore’s journal and correspondence also record countless occasions where he networked by performing — particularly his Irish Melodies — at the London clubs (for which publisher James Power paid his membership fees) and private parties of the influential bon ton. This kind of socialising was a very profitable form of advertisement for Moore’s work, as he often acknowledged in his letters to Power.  Given his sociable nature, we can assume he did not find ‘singing for his supper’ a difficult chore.


By Guest Contributor Josh Liu

The Fire Worshippers (published 1892), a dramatic cantata for solo voices chorus and orchestra, is written ambitiously by the hand of then student-composer Granville Bantock. As a piece that is derived from Thomas Moore’s oriental romance Lalla Rookh (1817), Bantock modernises the musical response to the story and establishes a great force into the music.

Bantock is a prolific composer who constantly changes his musical language in an unrecognisable manner. However, the Wagnerian compositional style remains as the main influence in Bantock which can be identified in  The Fire Worshippers. Compared with songs based on Lalla Rookh that came out within a few years of Moore’s 1817 poem (for example, “‘Twas his own voice” by Sir John Stevenson), Bantock’s work shares little or no similarities. The piece is more elaborate and is written in a concert style. It is not difficult to observe the gestures from all voices; Bantock clearly drew on the strength of each character in the vocal parts. Like most late romantic pieces, The Fire Worshippers is richly orchestrated and involves notably wide-ranging melodic lines.

Liu figure 1

It is interesting to see how the musical response to Lalla Rookh develops. Composers are working with  the same story-line, but it encourages different interpretations  as the nineteenth century progresses. What used to be a soothing type of storytelling now becomes dramatic. Having a huge orchestra boosts every dramatic moment more effectively. To name an example, in Scene Five, when Hinda (an Arab princess in war-torn Persia, depicted by a soprano) cries ‘No rest for me, while danger’s nigh,’ the music suddenly becomes very loud with a more urgent tempo marking ‘Molto Andante’ (from the preceding ‘Largo’). The percussion offers a forceful sound on top of the thick texture achieved by strings, woodwinds and brass.

Liu figure 2

The demand in this piece is very high — as a multi-movement cantata for chorus, vocal soloists and orchestra, it is quite lengthy and substantial as compared  with the short songs written for piano and voice that Moore’s poem inspired in the 1810s and ’20s. The first review of the Overture to The Fire Worshippers as performed at the Royal Academy of Music, London, simply praised Bantock’s modern interpretation of the story for being “bold, and the orchestration picturesque” The Fire Worshippers by Bantock displays vivid images through his compositional technique and orchestration. He offers a good representation of Moore’s story, entering into its ambience and variety, perhaps in a more convincing manner than Moore’s immediate contemporaries managed to do.



Bantock, Granville, The Fire Worshippers, Novello’s original octavo edition, London: Novello & Company Limited, 1892 (Score accessed 10th April 2017).

“Royal Academy of Music.” The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular 32.575 (1 January 1891): 23.

By Guest Contributor Daniel Steele

Editor’s note: in May 2017, as part of the lunch series in Music at Queen’s University Belfast, Daniel performed a recitative as Fadladeen from the 1877 cantata Lalla Rookh (W.G. Wills, text, and Frederic Clay, music).

LR.L3.WEST.Feramors, Lalla Rookh, Fadladeen.West Lalla Rookh, Fadladeen, and Feramors as depicted by Richard Westall and Charles Heath (Longmans, 1817). Image courtesy of Special Collections, McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast.


Performing a character is always a very subjective affair. The same character may be interpreted and portrayed variously by different people based upon how they perceive the character’s intentions, actions and overall importance to the plot. The presence of effective characterisation, like many things, often goes unnoticed until it isn’t there at all. With the ability to completely alter the way in which an audience perceives and experiences a story-line, effective characterisation is one of the most important aspects of performance in theatre, musical theatre and opera.

The character of Fadladeen is a very complex one. Portraying the ‘Great Nazir or Chamberlain of the Haram’ may at first appear simple as you need only be pompous and commanding in character, but if a fully rounded and three-dimensional character is desired then this simply cannot be the case.

“You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader.”
(Kress, 2005)

Nancy Kress tells us that in order to become the character, the performer must also become the writer and audience. I believe this means that in the portrayal of a character the performer must consider the writer’s intentions for the character, the character’s own possible intentions based upon the interpreted personality and the audience’s expectations of the character. Doing so allows the performer to tailor their portrayal to be complementary to the writer’s concept, believable to the character (as written) and pleasing to the audience.

A good place to begin dissecting the character of Fadladeen would be to consider Moore’s description of him.

‘Fadladeen was the judge of every thing, – from the penciling of a Circassian’s eyelids to the deepest questions of science and literature; from the mixture of a conserve of rose-leaves to the composition of an epic poem … His political conduct and opinions were founded upon that line of Sadi, -“Should the Prince at noon- day say, it is night, declare that you behold the moon and stars.”’
(Moore, 1817)

This description provided by Moore doesn’t do much to alter the preconceived idea of how Fadladeen should appear or act but rather reinforces the idea of a commanding figure, a man of high stature that commands the stage when he takes to it.  Moore does, however, suggest him to be a fiercely loyal character, an aspect which helps to add more depth and possibly context to him and his thought processes.

If we take Fadladeen’s first solo recitative from the Frederic Clay (music) and W. G.  Wills (text) adaption of Lalla Rookh  as an example, we can see that Moore’s idea of character comes through in the rhythmic structuring of the music:  a lot of emphasis on the strong beats of the music creates a very commanding feel. This style and ‘feel’ commands the audience’s attention. A frequent use of dotted rhythms in the vocal line helps the performer to understand which syllables should be emphasised as this kind of rhythm  naturally creates a more accentuated down beat as seen in fig 1.

Frederic Clay's recitative for Fadladeen, with dotted rhythms creating a strong musical character

Frederic Clay’s recitative for Fadladeen, with dotted rhythms creating a strong musical character

The second task to portraying Fadladeen is to consider how he as a character may think and how this effects and helps shape the decisions he makes throughout. We know from Moore’s description that he is a very commanding and loyal figure, but if we study how he speaks and interacts with Lalla Rookh, it isn’t hard to notice that he is also very protective of her–whether this be through fierce loyalty to her father or through compassion towards her, this new dynamic to his character can be vital in the effective realisation of it. Considering his recitative in the Clay adaption once again, when Fadladeen says “Be it my care to wile away thy pain” (to Lalla Rookh), this suggests that he is not simply the commanding figure originally outlined by Moore.

The final task is to consider the expectation of the audience with a figure such as Fadladeen. While Fadladeen has been recognised as a rare English portrayal of a figure who faithfully reflects Persian society (Trench, 1934), it has also been pointed out that he  adds a touch of humour to the story (Rao, unknown). It can be found that characters such as Fadladeen usually require even a small bit of humour to keep them from becoming too monotonous. This humour I believe is best found in the small musical ironies within his part in the Clay adaption. As seen in fig 2. Fadladeen sings the word ‘elevate’ as the vocal line drops an octave, an irony that would not go unnoticed by a character, with a capacity to pay such immense attention to detail, such as Fadladeen.

Clay's use of musical irony in Fadladeen's recitative

Clay’s use of musical irony in Fadladeen’s recitative


With all these factors considered it is then up to the performer to absorb the information and work out what these different traits mean to them and how that will effect their physical and musical portrayal of the Great Nazir or Chamberlain of the Haram, Fadladeen.

Source List

Kress, N. (2005). Characters, emotion & viewpoint. 1st ed. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.

Moore, Thomas (1817). Lalla Rookh. London: Longmans.

Trench, W. (1934). “Tom Moore: A Lecture by W. F. Trench.” The Irish Monthly, [online] 62(736), pp.662 – 664. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43651635 [Accessed 9 Apr. 2017]. http://





Guest contributor Conor Browne

Romantic era composer Robert Schumann (1810- 1856) is most likely to be known his numerous lieder. His great interest in literature led him to read Moore’s story of Lalla Rookh. Schumann first came across Moore’s poem in the early 1840s. In a  diary shared with his wife, Clara, he declared “Thomas Moore’s Paradise and the Peri has just been making me very happy” (translated Litzmann, p. 328). Schumann then continues by claiming that “something good in the way of music might be made of it”, showing his initial excitement at this prospect. Inspired by Moore, Schumann began to develop his oratorio, Das Paradies und die Peri, with a sustained composition period in the early months of 1843. He wrote this beautiful music in his spare time, as he had a full teaching schedule at the Leipzig conservatory with over 40 pupils. The diary entries are the perfect insight to Schumann’s progress through Clara’s reaction to each new piece of music that he wrote. “The music is as heavenly as the text; what a wealth of feeling and poetry there is in it!” (Litzmann, p. 350) . It is clear that Clara enjoyed the music of her spouse.

For those who may not know the story behind the work, it is this. A Peri, (an angel  from Persian mythology) is expelled from paradise. She  is told that in order to regain entrance she must bring a gift that is most dear to heaven. The Peri ponders what this could be and makes attempts to bring various gifts. First she brought the last drop of blood from a fallen young hero who died in battle. This was not enough. After this she journeys to Egypt where she acquires the last loving sigh of a lover who died from disease. Again, this was not enough. Eventually she comes across a repentant old sinner who witnesses a young boy praying. She takes a tear from the old man’s face and brings this gift to the gates of paradise. The gates flew open to receive this gift, admitting the Peri once more. It is a rather sweet fairy tale with morality being the core message. Repentance is the greatest gift.

The oratorio premiered in Leipzig on 4th December 1843 and evidently was a rousing success as several  repeat performances followed, including  Dresden on the 23rd of December and Berlin early the following year.  Clara’s diary also records some of the early performance issues that nearly frustrated the work’s premiere, including singers unable to handle the more technically demanding parts. Yet the first audience was attentive , and the press positive. However “Lalla Rookh” was being performed in Germany much before this. Gaspare Spontini wrote a series of tableaux vivant on “Lalla Rookh” for the Berlin royal court in 1821. Furthermore, a translation of “Lalla Rookh” was published in 1839 by the Leipzig-based publisher Bernhard Tauchnitz, so it is quite possible that it was through this  that Schumann first became inspired.

The Musical Times contains an article by George Grove which shows a letter written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1844, praising the work of his friend Schumann, in a bid to persuade Ewer and Co. of London to publish the oratorio. “It is a worthy musical translation of that beautiful inspiration of your great poet, Moore” (716). Even though no immediate action was taken, word of Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri eventually spread, so much so that it had made waves across the Atlantic. Clara records that the American Musical Institute in New York was preparing it for performance in late 1847. By 1854 it had premiered back in Ireland at Great Brunswick Street, Dublin in a performance  of the Royal Choral Institute conducted by John William Glover. According to Freeman’s Journal the music had been re-adapted to Moore’s original poem for the purpose of this performance. As Thomas Moore was from Dublin himself, we can be sure that “Lalla Rookh” and the tale of Paradise and the Peri would already have been well known in in his home city. The Peri premiered in England in June 1856. That performance was given by the Philharmonic Society for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. By 1869 Victor Wilder translated the work into an opera libretto titled Le Paradis et la Péri, performed in Paris at the Théatre impérial italien. These performances not only show just how successful the work was, but that  it changed and evolved from performance to performance, and even inspired new works, breathing new life into Thomas Moore’s beautiful poetry.

The image  shows the beautifully ornate cover page of “Lalla Rookh”, as illustrated by John Tenniel. The Peri is depicted on the cover leaning  across the two lovers’ bodies as she takes the last sigh. Image courtesy of Special Collections, McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast.


Works Cited
Grove, George – “Schumann’s Music in England” – Musical Times 47.753 (1905): 716-718. JSTOR.
Litzmann, Berthold – Clara Schumann: An artist’s life, based on materials found in diaries and letters, translated by Grace E. Hadow. 1913. Cambridge University Press, 2014. E-book.

Project ERIN is participating in a number of events in spring 2017 to mark the publishing bicentenary of Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh. These include:

10 May, 13:00-14:00. ‘Moore’s influence on Europe’s music networks through the Irish Melodies and Lalla Rookh’. Seminar by Triona O’Hanlon and Sarah McCleave. Venue: McMordie Hall, Music, Queen’s University Belfast, University Square. Open to the public; no tickets required.
11 May, 13:10-14:25. A concert of Lalla Rookh-inspired music by composers such as Charles Villiers Stanford, Robert Schumann, Félicien David, and Sir John Stevenson. Venue: Harty Room, Music, Queen’s University Belfast, University Square. Open to the public; no tickets required.
15 May, 16:30-17:30. ‘Dublin publications and stage representations: a survey of Moore’s Irish Melodies and Lalla Rookh’. Seminar by Triona O’Hanlon and Sarah McCleave. Venue: Seminar room, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, 6-8 Fitzwilliam Street. Open to the public; no tickets required.
27 May, 10:00. ‘Spontini’s Lalla Rûkh and the subsequent response of European composers to Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh’. Conference paper by Triona O’Hanlon and Sarah McCleave, for the ‘Lalla Rookh Bicentenary Symposium’, organised by Justin Tonra. Venue: Marsh’s Library, Dublin. For tickets see “Event Brite”.
17 June, 14:00-16:00. ‘The European Response to Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh’, plenary lecture by Triona O’Hanlon and Sarah McCleave, for the annual conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. To be followed by a concert of works inspired by Lalla Rookh, by cmposers such as Henry Bishop, Frederic Clay, John G. Klemm and Robert Schumann, featuring mezzo sopranos Helen Aiken and Martha O’Brien, as well as pianist Aoife O’Sullivan. Venue: Music, Queen’s University Belfast. Open to conference delegates only; for further details see: http://qub.ac.uk/sites/smi2017/

During summer 2017 a radio documentary on Moore’s Lalla Rookh, produced by Rockfinch productions, will be produced on RTÉ Lyric. This will feature some material from the 17 June concert, as well as contributions by speakers including Anja Bunzel, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Sarah McCleave, Triona O’Hanlon, and Daniel Roberts.

Guest contributor Megan Clay

The piano was invented by Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1709. It wasn’t until the 1740s that it became widely used in Germany, with notable use in Britain dating from the 1760s – about a decade before Moore’s birth. England quickly became a leading centre of piano manufacture with John Broadwood and pianist-composer Muzio Clementi being the main producers (Temperley, page 400). Yet the piano was considered a new experimental instrument and could only be afforded by the upper classes. This created a clear distinction in the music played by professional and that of amateur musicians. The concert scene was thriving, and the piano was used primarily as part of an orchestra or in an ensemble of wind or string instruments, but rarely as a solo instrument. If the popularity of the piano was to increase, there needed to be a domestic market to introduce solo piano into the home.

Even in 1779, the year Moore was born, pianos were still exclusively for elite, professional musicians, and in Western Europe the harpsichord was still at that time more popular. The divide between professional and amateur musicianship gradually broke down, and more rapidly with the sale of amateur pianos and sonatas written for them.

Domestic music provided a need for printing and publishing scores, therefore making printed music cheaper, more plentiful and more accessible. The sale of piano music grew in the years following 1790, and as the quantity of music being produced grew, the quality grew poorer (Loesser, page 251). Few people were skilled enough to play high quality piano music, and simpler solo repertoire was commissioned to encourage piano playing amongst non-professionals. Composers began to recognise this need for more accessible music,  distinguishing “grand sonatas” written for  serious musicians from “sonatas” written for amateurs (Temperley, page 403). The latter preferred sonatas featuring popular tunes (Temperley, page 402). Composers turned to writing “in favour of the unskilled and uncultured” simply for the commercial value of the works (Loesser, page 251), as there was a high demand – especially in London. Austrian pianist and composer Josef Wölfl, whilst working in London, wrote to the publisher of Härtel magazine in Leipzig:

“Since I have been here, my works have had astonishing sales; but along with all this I must write in a very easy and sometimes a very vulgar style. So much for your information, in case it should occur to one of your critics to make fun of me on account of any of the things that have appeared here. You won’t believe how backward music still is here, and how one has to hold oneself back in order to bring forth such shallow compositions, which do terrific business here.” (Loesser, page 251)

The piano manufacturing business also benefitted from the growing trend of amateur piano playing, as pianos became readily sought after by the public (no longer merely the upper class) for domestic use.



File:Piano 3205.jpg


A Clementi square piano, 1829.

“http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Piano_3205.jpg” Photo by P.G.Champion, available under a  ”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/uk/deed.en_GB” Creative Commons license.


Manufacturers promoted their pianos to amateur musicians and prospective players. In 1810, virtuoso pianist and composer Muzio Clementi (after a successful career as a touring performer), entered the piano manufacturing industry–travelling Europe selling his pianos to amateur musicians. Clementi had fellow pianist Jan Ladislav Dussek, one of the first concert pianists in London (Temperley, page 403), perform his  sonatas written for amateurs to mirror the repertory performed in the home and encourage the concept of virtuoso playing there. This was a considerable selling point, as in turn both his compositions and pianos promoted each other (Parakilas, page 26). To achieve this, Clementi created and published an introductory piano book entitled  Introduction to the Art of Playing on the Pianoforte (1801) (Parakilas, page 68). His aim was to generate a flourishing piano market so that more people, particularly in the domestic market, would want to learn to play the piano. He also knew that it would be easier to play the piano if one was already competent in harpsichord playing, and encouraged many harpsichord players to convert to playing the piano. Therefore, the previous popularity of the harpsichord can be said to have enabled the success of the piano in the domestic sector.



Ehrlich, Cyril (1990). The Piano: A History. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Loesser, Arthur (1954). Men, Women and Pianos – A Social History. Simon & Schuster, New York.

Parakilas, James (2002). Piano Roles: A New History of the Piano. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Rowland, David.(1998). The Cambridge Companion to the Piano. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Temperley, N. (1981). The Romantic Age 1800-1914. 1st ed. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lalla Rookh

Similar to other libraries visited during the course of project ERIN the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (SBB) does not curate a dedicated Moore collection. However, the library is in possession of a unique selection of sources for musical re-workings of Lalla Rookh; these include nineteenth-century libretti and printed music. These sources, together with an account, costume designs and illustrations pertaining to the 1821 Berlin premiere of Spontini’s Lalla Rookh (1821), housed at the Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek, are valuable, offering much to Moore scholarship, and to the wider contextualisation of musical re-workings of Lalla Rookh. An overview of these sources, with a specific focus on Spontini’s Lalla Rookh (1821) and Nurmahal (1822) will be the subject of a conference paper that I will jointly present with Dr Sarah McCleave at the upcoming Lalla Rookh Bicentenary Symposium at Marsh’s Library, Dublin on 27 May 2017 (the full symposium announcement and programme is included at the end of this blog).


Gaspare [Luigi Pacifico] Spontini (1774-1852) was appointed to the position of Kapellmeister and Musical Director at Berlin State Opera in 1820 by the Prussian Monarch Karl Wilhelm III. Spontini’s two-act opera with ballet called Nurmahal is based on The Light of the Haram; the fourth and final tale from Moore’s Lalla Rookh. Nurmahal was first performed in Berlin on 27 May 1822; exactly five years after the first publication of Lalla Rookh was issued. A selection of extant concert programmes, housed at the SBB’s Manuscripts Reading Room (Handschriften-Lesessal, Potsdamer Straβe), documents 18 Berlin performances of the opera with ballet, which took place between the years 1822 and 1824. An excerpt from the concert programme for the first Berlin performance of
Nurmahal is transcribed below.

“Montag, den 27. May 1822. / Im Opernhause. / zum Erstenmale: / Nurmahal, / oder: /
Das Rosenfest von Caschmir. / Lyrisches Drama in 2 Abtheilungen, nach dem englischen
Gedicht Lalla Rukh, des Th. Moore, / mit Ballets. Musik von Spontini.”

This research trip was kindly and generously funded by the Keats-Shelly Association of America, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr., Research Grant 2017.

Image courtesy of Special Collections, McClay Library, QUB

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/en/

Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek http://www.smb.museum/en/museums-institutions/kunstbibliothek/libraries/lipperheide-costume-library.html

Lalla Rookh Bicentenary Symposium -
Marsh’s Library, Dublin | 27 May 2017
27 May 2017 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Thomas Moore’s epic oriental poem, Lalla Rookh. Dubbed “the cream of the copyrights” by its publisher, Thomas Longman, the work was an immediate commercial success, selling out six editions within six months of its initial publication. Longmans would eventually publish almost 100,000 copies of the work, including editions illustrated by prominent artists such as John Tenniel and Daniel Maclise. Lalla Rookh has enjoyed a rich cultural afterlife, with parts of the work set to music by Robert Schumann, Charles Villiers Stanford, and Anton Rubenstein, and numerous theatrical adaptations taking inspiration from Moore’s writing. A major reference point in the genre of Romantic Orientalism, the work has maintained a prominent position in scholarly accounts of the poetry of the Regency period, and its depictions of the dangers of political demagoguery and appeals for religious tolerance have a powerful and durable resonance. Lalla Rookh Bicentenary Symposium commemorates this anniversary by bringing together a range of national and international scholars to present current research on Moore and Lalla Rookh at Marsh’s Library, Dublin, where Moore completed research for his debut poetic collection, Odes of Anacreon.

Register for the symposium (general: €20 | student/unwaged: €10): https:// www.eventbrite.com/e/lalla-rookh-bicentenary symposium-tickets-33390338401

0930-1000 Registration
1000-1100 Panel 1: Lalla Rookh & Music
Sarah McCleave & Tríona O’Hanlon (Queen’s University Belfast):
“Spontini’s Lalla Rûkh and the Subsequent Response of European Composers to Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh”

Anja Bunzel (Maynooth University): “The Sublime Genius: Nineteenth-Century Nationalism in the Peri by Robert Schumann and Thomas Moore”

1100-1130 Tea & Coffee

1130-1230 Panel 2: Lalla Rookh & Literature
Justin Tonra (National University of Ireland Galway): “The Bibliographic Problem of Lalla Rookh”

Daniel S. Roberts (Queen’s University Belfast): “Oriental Artifice in Lalla Rookh”

1230-1345 Lunch

1345-1445 Panel 3
Jane Moore (Cardiff University): “Thomas Moore’s Songs”

Brian Caraher (Belfast): “From Lalla Rookh to ‘Larry O’Rourke’: Thomas Moore and James Joyce”

1445-1515 Tea & Coffee

1515-1615 Panel 4
Una Hunt (Dublin Institute of Technology): “Thomas Moore, Drawing Room Entertainer or Rebel Songster?”

Matthew Campbell (University of York): “Poetry and the ‘Cause of Tolerance’: Moore, Ferguson, Mangan”

1615-1630 Closing Remarks

This event is organised by Justin Tonra, with the assistance of Matthew Campbell, Brian Caraher, Sarah McCleave, and Sean Ryder (NUI Galway). The symposium is generously supported by the School of Humanities, National University of Ireland Galway, and by Marsh’s Library.

For further enquiries, please contact the organiser.

Dr Justing Tonra, Lecturer in English, School of Humanities, National University of Ireland Galway.


Kunstbibliothek, Berlin

While researching in Berlin I also visited the Kunstbibliothek; Berlin’s Art Library, or, The Library of Art History. This library is located at number 6 Matthäikirchplatz, which is situated opposite the SBB’s Potsdamer branch. A number of art history libraries are housed within this building, including the Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek (Lipperheide Costume Library), where a selection of extant sources for the 1821 Berlin performance of Spontini’s Lalla Rookh are housed.


Gaining admission to the Kunstbibliothek/Lipperheidesche was very straightforward. You first need to register, and this can be completed onsite when you arrive. The registration office is located on the left next to the entrance. There is no registration fee but it is necessary to complete a form and to present your passport for identification purposes. You receive your library card immediately and this permits admission to all libraries within the Kunstbibliothek building. It is possible to order material through the online catalogue. Some items can be retrieved within 30 minutes, others will be retrieved the following day. I placed my order at about 4pm and the material was available to consult at 10am the following morning; this arrangement suited my research schedule.


As with all libraries visited to date, bags and coats are not allowed in the reading rooms. There are no locker facilities at this library. Similar to the SBB’s Unter den Linden and Potsdamer sites there is a cloakroom manned by a porter and this is where you store your belongings while in the reading room. You receive a token with a number for retrieving your belongings before leaving the library. There is also a café onsite.


For more information about the Kunstbibliothek and Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek, including information about admission and opening times, visit the websites listed here:




This research trip was kindly and generously funded by the Keats-Shelly Association of America, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr., Research Grant 2017.



Unter den Linden site, SBB

Unter den Linden site, SBB

I recently completed my final research trip for project ERIN. I visited Berlin for five days to research at the Staatsbibliothek (SBB). This was my first time visiting the SBB and Berlin. The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin has four branches; Unter den Linden, Potsdamer Straβe, Westhafen and bpk-Bildagentur. I needed to visit the Music Reading Room (Musik-Lesessal), which is located at the Unter den Linden site, and the Manuscripts Reading Room (Handschriften-Lesessal), which is located at the main site on Potsdamer Strasse; both branches are located within the Berlin Mitte district. The closest U-bahn stops are Friedrichstrasse and Potsdamer Platz respectively.


Readers who are not resident in Berlin may register online prior to visiting the library; click on the following link and select Registration Form via SSL Access http:// staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/en/service/anmeldung/. Shortly after you submit the registration form you should receive an email acknowledgement. In order to adequately prepare for your visit, especially if travelling to Berlin from outside Germany, it is important to include the dates of your intended visit on the registration form. You should receive your library card number and a password via email exactly one week before the date of your arrival at the SBB. Once you receive this information you can login to the SBB’s online catalogue and place your order in advance of your visit. Since it may take 2-3 days to retrieve some items, it is important to allow adequate time when placing your order. It should also be noted that orders are held for eight days only, it is therefore recommended not to place your order too far in advance of your visit. If you experience any difficulties using the online system you can email your request directly to the relevant library department; click on the following link for a list of the SBB’s departments and contact details https://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/en/about-the-library/departments/.


To order material when in the Music Reading Room complete a white call-slip, available at the issue desk. When researching in the Manuscripts Reading Room complete a pink callslip, available at the issue desk there. One call-slip must be completed per item. There is approximately a two hour wait time for orders placed in the Music Reading Room and a one hour wait time for orders placed in the Manuscripts Reading Room. If researching in the Music Reading Room it is important to be aware that orders placed before 11am can be retrieved on the same day, but orders placed after 2pm will not be retrieved until the following day.


On arrival at the library you will need to complete the registration process; this can be done at either the Unter den Linden or Potsdamer sites. Since I had planned to begin my research in the Music Reading Room it was most convenient for me to complete the registration process at the Unter den Linden site. The entrance to the Unter den Linden site is located on Dorotheenstraβe. To complete registration visit the issue desk on the first floor, submit a print out of the completed online registration form and present your passport for identification purposes. Registration for one month costs €12 and registration for one year costs €30. The library card is issued immediately and payment is made using an automatic cash machine located to the right of the issue desk. It is not permitted to bring bags or coats into the reading rooms. I found the locker system in use at both the Unter den Linden and Potsdamer sites to be a little unusual as some lockers require padlocks. I am unsure if the padlocks are supplied by the library of if you need to bring your own; I suspect the latter. All lockers are located in the foyer on the ground floor at both Unter den Linden and Potsdamer. It is imperative to arrive at the library in the early morning, preferably before 10am, if you wish to avail of a locker with its own key, for which you will need a €1 coin. If there are no lockers available one must leave all belongings in a cloakroom which is manned by a porter. A numbered token is issued for retrieving belongings from the cloakroom before you leave the library.


The Music Reading Room is located on the first floor at the Unter den Linden site and accommodates 36 readers. Facilities include PCs and microfilm machines. The reading room is spacious and the work desks are large, so there is adequate space for working with larger sources. The Manuscripts Reading Room is located on level three at the Potsdamer site and accommodates up to 24 readers. Wifi is available at both Unter den Linden and Potsdamer sites. Opening times for the Music and Manuscripts Reading Rooms vary; consult the SBB’s website for information about reading room times and closure dates; a link to the library’s homepage is provided here http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de. There is a café onsite at Potsdamer and a selection of vending machines are located in the foyer at Unter den Linden. The staff at both sites were friendly and very helpful.


In my next blog I will provide an account of my experience researching at the Lipperheidesche Kostuembibliothek (Lipperheide Costume Library) which is located at the Kunstbibliothek, 6 Matthäikirchplatz, Berlin.


This research trip was kindly and generously funded by the Keats-Shelly Association of America, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr., Research Grant 2017.



The British Library has a copy of John F. McArdle’s adaptation of Moore’s Lalla Rookh as a Victorian era Christmas pantomime. This work was first staged at the  Alexandra Palace Theatre, South Kensington, in December 1883 (and repeated at the Bijou Opera House, Liverpool, 1889).  The  original production team included Mr C. Brew (transformation scene, the Peris’ Papyrus-Grove), Loveday (music), Mis Guinniss (ballet and processional pageantry), Mr Norbury and Mr Bennett (gas and lime-light effects); Messrs. Knott and Co. contributed the illusions, while Mr Finlay led the team which provided the scenery. In McArdle’s pantomime, the stories of Lalla Rookh and Hinda are intermeshed, with the latter becoming the principal lady-in-waiting to the Mogul princess.  As in Moore’s poem, Hinda is beloved by the Gheber Hafed, but he is assigned the role of a pantomime Infernal, along with a new character ‘Khoransabad the Terrible’, who vies with the ‘poet’ Feramors/King of Bucharia for Lalla ‘s hand. Indeed, Lalla’s hand is sought by no fewer than 15 princes and potentates, whose desires are marked in an extended pageant that  allows plenty of opportunity to introduce exotic characters (Amazons, Mandarins, and ‘Ashantee Wives’) accompanying the hopeful suitors (the King of Cashmere, the Chinese Emperor, and King Koffee). Lalla Rookh, already totally smitten with the poet Feramors, swiftly rejects them — including Khoransabad, who attempts to woo her with a song to the tune of “Lovely Sally Brook”. She does, however, accept the suit of the unseen King of Bucharia, on the recommendation of the lovelorn Peri Namoune (here two of Moore’s characters are combined as his Namouna was a sorceress in ‘The Light of the Harem’; his Peri was nameless). Namoune has been denied her place in Heaven for daring to love a mortal (Feramors) and can only gain re-entry by effecting the union of her beloved with Lalla Rookh. Lalla’s father the emperor Aurungzebe gives his grudging approval for the match, then sings solo during the Grand Chorus of Moore’s  ”Let Erin Remember”. The other Peris  appear from time to time  en masse to sing choruses and perform ballets. The attendant Ghebers, as infernal characters perform an  ’Impish Ballet’, while Hafed and Khoransabad provide a “Grand Revenge Duet”. The Incantation which follows will be familiar :  “Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble” (here described as ‘The Conspirators’ Chorus’). Fadladeen manages to embroil himself in a pitched battle with the impish Ghebers, which Namoune quells by  rais[ing] a burning brand and wav[ing] it over them; all fall down, Hafed kneels overawed. In the end, the deserving men (Feramors and Hafed) get their girls, while the ‘baddie’ Khoransabad has to content himself by singing the ‘New Tip-top topical song’ while riding a donkey. The characteristic final appeal to the audience ran thus:


Fad.: With Moore we have made merry; our endeavour

To make the Moore the merrier than ever.

King.: Forgive our follies at this Christmas time,

All’s fair in love and war – and Pantomime.

Nam: Our faults and failings please to overlook.

Lalla: and let no raven crow o’er Lalla Rookh!



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