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George Moore was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. He came from a Roman Catholic landed family and originally wanted to be a painter studying in Paris in the 1870s. As a naturalistic writer, he was amongst the first English-language authors to absorb the lessons of the French realists, and was particularly influenced by the works of mile Zola. Because of his willingness to tackle such issues as prostitution, extramarital sex and lesbianism, his novels were met with disapproval but eventually as public taste changed they became accepted. Memoirs of My Dead Life was published in 1906. The book begins, As I sit at my window on Sunday morning, lazily watching the sparrows--restless black dots that haunt the old tree at the corner of King's Bench Walk--I begin to distinguish a faint green haze in the branches of the old lime. Yes, there it is green in the branches; and I'm moved by an impulse--the impulse of Spring is in my feet; india-rubber seems to have come into the soles of my feet, and I would see London. It is delightful to walk across Temple Gardens, to stop--pigeons are sweeping down from the roofs--to call a hansom, and to notice, as one passes, the sapling behind St. Clement's Danes. The quality of the green is exquisite on the smoke-black wall. London can be seen better on Sundays than on week-days; lying back in a hansom, one is alone with London.
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