Irish Melodies

Thomas Moore, 'Irish Melodies', 1845

Irish Melodies by Thomas Moore; illustrated by Daniel Maclise

London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1845

Available in NGI Library Special Collections: 709.415MAC

Maclise also produced ornate illustrations for a revised edition of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies in 1845. In the preface of the revised edition Moore wrote:

I deemed it most fortunate for this new edition that the rich imaginative powers of Mr Maclise have been employed in its adornment, and that to complete its national character, an Irish pencil has lent its aid to an Irish pen in rendering due honour to our country's ancient harp.

Maclise’s Romantic illustrations echo Moore’s nostalgic lyrics, mourning the passing of Ireland’s former glory. Harps and round towers feature prominently, while most pages include intricate foliage borders, many of which incorporate the shamrock. Maclise was greatly influenced by the illustrations of German artists, Alfred Rethel (1816-1859), Rudolf Julius Benno Hübner (1806-1882) and Eduard Julius Friedrich Bendemann’s (1811-1889) for the Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs) (1828), an epic poem in Middle High German.