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):



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.