George Augustus Moore

On this date in 1852, prolific novelist George Augustus Moore was born into a Roman Catholic family in Ballyglass, County Mayo, Ireland. He was educated at a Catholic college, but jettisoned his faith in Paris, where he went at 18 to study art, as described in Flowers of Passion (1877). His 1883 novel, A Modern Lover, was barred by some libraries. In The Apostle, the author depicted Paul murdering Jesus after finding him alive many years following his alleged "resurrection." The preface is "a charmingly free study of the bible," according to freethought historian Joseph McCabe (A Biographical Dictionary of Rationalists, 1920). Ester Waters (1891) is about a nun who gives birth to a son. In Brook Kerith (1916), what McCabe called "his beautiful rationalized version of the life of Christ," Moore described Jesus as an Essenian monk, for which the Catholic Church attempted to prosecute him. His "whole work," including his autobiography, Hail and Farewell (3 vol., 1911-14), "is pagan," according to McCabe. Moore's nonfiction includes Reminiscences of the Impressionist Painters (1906). His Collected Works (1924) is 21 volumes. Moore was instrumental in the Irish Renaissance. D. 1933.

“Women have never invented a religion; they are untainted with that madness, and they are not moralists.”

—George Augustus Moore, Confessions of a Young Man (1888), cited in 2,000 Years of Disbelief by James R. Haught

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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