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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

Listings for Author:  

Roger Moore


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Roger Moore : [Address on ballads and folk song]

'Minutes of Meeting held at School House. 3rd April 1943
    R. D. L. Moore in the Chair
1. The minutes of the last meeting were read & signed.


4. Roger Moore introduced the subject of ‘Ballads’. He spoke of their origin, which is very obscure since anonymity belongs to their very nature. They were never meant to be ‘literature’, since they were not written but have come down to us orally until Bishop Percy in 1765 started making his collection. He quoted Quiller- Couch in saying that almost all the places most celebrated in ballad poetry lie in the Border country between two lines, one drawn from the Firth of Forth to the Clyde & the other from Newcastle-on-Tyne to St Bee’s Head. Quiller-Couch also draws two chronological lines — at the years 1350 and 1550 & holds that the Ballad rose, flourished & declined within that period.

5. Illustrations of Ballads were given as follows:
Tam Lin    read by Elsie Harrod
The Two Magicians    sung by A. B. Dilks
Sir Patrick Spens    read by Kenneth Nicholson
The Suffolk Miracle    [read by] Margaret Dilks
Chevy Chase    [read by] Knox Taylor

Some Berkshire Ballads —
    Archbishop Laud
    Mollie Mog
    The Lay of the Hunted Pig
    Cupid’s Garden ——— read by Howard Smith

John Barleycorn — read by Isabel Taylor

Edward — [read by] Bruce Dilks.

[signed as a true record by] Muriel M. Stevens 8 - 5 - 43. [at the club meeting held at Gower Cottage: see Minute Book, p. 153.]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Roger Moore      Manuscript: Unknown


Roger Moore : [an essay on the difficulty of choosing its subject]

'Meeting held at Gower Cottage 4th. May 1942.
M. Stevens in the chair.

1. The minutes of the last meeting were read, pronounced rather more accurate than usual, and signed.


4. First we had the telegram which was from the Alexanders, regretting that a chicken pox epidemic among the children prevented their parents from contributing to our evenings entertainment.

5. Next an essay entitled “An Autumn Ramble” was read by A. G. Joselin and the author was later identified as S. A. Reynolds, who told us that it had been written some 50 years ago.


7. Roger Moore read an essay entitled “Langdale, Easter 1942” and casting among our members for a rock-climber we soon realized that the author was Knox Taylor. [...]

8. Rosamund Wallis read “Samuel Butler at the Book Club” which was recognised at once as being written by the secretary. She had rather let herself go in an account of an imaginary meeting which explained the unusual brevity and accuracy of this months minutes.

9. “Three Weeks in Kerry” was the title of a most interesting essay read by F. E. Pollard. We had some difficulty in identifying this as being written by his wife – perhaps because although we were told it had been written many years ago in the author’s ‘comparative youth’ our imaginations failed to picture Mrs. Pollard on a perilous journey in an Irish car, holding up an umbrella with one hand and and peeling a hard-boiled egg with the other. [...]

10. A. B. Dilks read a dissertation in which the author wrote for some four or five pages on the difficulty of deciding what to write about. Roger Fry, food, gardens and cats were among the subjects he considered but for one reason or another, laid aside. As members of the Book Club are so noted for beating around the bush we had considerable difficulty in spotting this particular beater — but it proved to be Roger Moore.

[Signature of] A. B. Dilks 6th June 1942'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Bruce Dilks      Manuscript: Unknown


Roger Moore : [The Life of Charles Lamb]

'Meeting held at 219, Kings Road. 15th October 1942. Dorothea Taylor in the chair
1. The minutes of the last meeting were read & signed.
2. The secretary read a card from Mr Dyson regretting that he is completely unqualified to address us on Russian Literature
3. The question of new members was again raised and the secretary reported that she had written to Mr. & Mrs. Fawcett extending our renewed invitation to them to join the Club. & their reply, regretting that they are unable to accept, was read. [...]
5. After some excellent refreshments, we devoted the rest of the evening to the study of Charles Lamb. Roger Moore first gave us the story of his life – how he was educated at Christ’s Hospital where he met and formed a life-long friendship with S. T. Coleridge, then of his appointment in the East India House. We heard of the curse of madness which hung over the Lamb family & how in 1796 his Mother was killed by his sister Mary in a fit of insanity. Lamb was magnificent in this tragedy & devoted the rest of his life to the care of his sister who remained subject to periodic seizures. Lamb wrote essays, poetry, letters & with his sister he wrote Tales from Shakespeare. He was also one of the first literary & dramatic critics.
6. F. E. Pollard read some of Lambs letters, illustrating his great love of London – professed abhorrence of the Lake District – also his love of good food and in particular of Cambridge Brawn.
7. S. A Reynolds read an extract from one of Lamb’s last essays, also two of his sonnets one of which he contrasted with an amended version by Coleridge.
8. Elsie Harrod read Lamb’s essay on his visit to MACKERY END in Hertfordshire of which he had childish memories & family associations.
9. Arnold Joselin read part of the Essay on Christ’s Hospital & as an Old Blue he was able to enlarge on & explain some details & also to reassure us that certain ancient practices are now discontinued. [...]
[signature of] Arnold G. Joselin 14 Nov. 1942'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Roger Moore      Print: Book


Roger Moore : [An introduction to the subject of letters]

'Meeting held at Hilliers, Northcourt Avenue. 26. ii. 40Meeting held at Hilliers, Northcourt Avenue. 26. ii. 40. Rosamund Walis in the Chair
1. Minutes of last read + approved
2. Minute 7 of 19th Dec. – relating to the accounts – was continued
5. The subject of letters was introduced by Roger Moore, and led to a desultory but amusing discussion ranging from the Pastons to modern family letters and scurrilous blackmailing letters.
7. Margaret Dilkes read from Lord Chesterfield’s letters to his son.
8. Ethel Stevens read letters which she had cut out of the papers from time to time, notably one from a child of thirteen to John Ruskin.
9. H. R. Smith read some four or five short letters from E. V. Lucas, “The Second Post.”
10. Mary Pollard read Pliny’s account of the Eruption of Vesuvius.
11. Roger Moore read some of Keats’s letters which were much enjoyed, and a Keats evening was suggested for some future meeting.
[signed as a true record:] S A Reynolds

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Moore      Manuscript: Unknown


Roger Moore : [A biographical sketch of John Keats, chiefly as revealed through his letters]

'Meeting held at “Hilliers”, Northcourt Avenue. 18.XI.40
    Rosamund Wallis in the chair.


4. Roger Moore gave us a biographical sketch of John Keats chiefly as revealed through his letters. To him Keats was memorable as much for the man he was as for what he wrote. We heard of Keats’ ideals, his religion as revealed in his letters in spite of his professed unbelief, of his family and circle of close friends and of his tragic & untimely death. In conclusion Roger Moore asked whether anyone could set his mind at rest with regard to Ruth in tears amid the alien corn. His knowledge of the Scriptures led him to suppose that Ruth was extremely happy in her exile, in which case Keats himself would have been the first to admit that an idea lacking truth could not be beautiful. This led to some discussion on Ruth and exiles in general and Howard Smith suggested that it was strange that Keats had selected Ruth when there had been so many famous exiles through whose really sad hearts the self-same song might have found a path. He thought Iphigenia would have been a better choice, but it was generally felt that the sadness of her exile was somewhat outweighed by the length of her name.


[signed] Howard R. Smith

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Roger Moore      Manuscript: Unknown


Roger Moore : Literary Gleanings [an essay on the Thames in Literature]

'Meeting held at Gower Cottage, 20.II.’39
R. D. L. Moore, & subsequently H. Stevens in the Chair.
1. Minutes of last read & approved.
5. R. H. Robson told of The Stately Homes of Thames, + we heard of Bisham Abbey, Mapledurham, Ufton Court, of Jesuits hunted by Walsingham, of the incident of The Rape of the Lock, of Lovelace, Lady Place, Hurley, and Soames Forsyte.

6. H. R. Smith, dealing with the Story of the River, + passing lightly over the Danish incursions upstream, spoke of the thousand years in which the Thames had been in bounds. Weirs had been made by millers, navigation had been slow and perilous, the modern lock was a matter of the last hundred + fifty years. Twenty- six mills were named in Domesday Book[.] The Thames Conservancy had brought order out of chaos.


8. S. A. Reynolds read from Mortimer Menpes of warehouses + houseboats, the boat race + Henley Regatta, Kingfishers + quick backwaters, fishing + the vagaries of the towpath.

9. R. D. L. Moore gave us Literary Gleanings, touching on Spenser and Shelley, quoting from The Scholar Gypsy + Thyrsis, + reading Soames Forsyte’s thoughts in the early morning on the river, Kipling’s The River’s Tale, + Virginia Woolf’s astonishing account in Orlando of the great frost, when a girl dissolved into powder + fish were frozen twenty fathoms deep!


11. Muriel Stevens read a friend’s notes on Deptford + its river scenes.

12. A. B. Dilkes from Three Men in a Boat.

[Signed] S A Reynolds
27/3/93 [i.e. 27/3/39]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Roger Moore      Manuscript: Unknown


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