[Rev.] George Croly

Life
1780-1840; b. Dublin, ed. TCD, Schol. 1798; BA, 1800; MA, 1804; ordained 1804; preacher, and poet in style of Byron, Moore; books of poems include Paris in 1815 (1817); suffered delays in preferment through confusion with the Dr. William Crolly, Professor at Maynooth, 1812-25, and later Archb. of Armagh, 1835; issued Popery and the Popish Question (1825) and other sectarian pamphlets; novels include Salathiel (1829), a romance tale of the ‘Wandering Jew’ in Rome during the reign of Nero and of Jerusalem besieged by Titus; Marston (1846), Marston (1846), a romance set in the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods; Paris 1815 (1817), poem; Divine Providence or the Three Cycles of Revelation (1834); called “Revd Rowley Powley” by Byron (DJ xi 57); settled London 1810; drama crit. for New Times and contrib. Literary Gazette and Blackwood’s Magazine; reputation for eloquence when rector of St. Stephen’s Walbrook, 1835-47 (where there is a memorial bust and tablet; afternoon lecturer at the Foundling, 1847; above works and numerous narrative and romantic poems; Croly was a friend of the Stoker family during the childhood by Bram Stoker of Dracula fame. CAB ODNB PI JMC TAY DIW OG RAF SUTH OCIL

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Works
Lines on the Death of Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte (
London 1818); The Angel of the World [with other poems] (London 1820); The Coronation, Observations on the Public Life of the King [1s edn.] (1821), 56pp.; Cataline (1822), a tragedy; Popery and the Popish Question, being an exposition of the doctrinal opinions of Daniel O’Connell (1825); Tales of the Great St Bernard, 3 vols. (1st edn. 1828), Irish Eloquence, The Speeches of the Celebrated Irish Orators, Philips, Curran, and Grattan ... selected by a Member of the Bar (Philadephia 1833), 178, 370pp.; another edn. as Historical Sketches; Irish Eloquence, as ill. by ... Curran (1852); The Poetical Works of G. C., 2 vols. (London 1830); Memoir of the Political Life of Edmund Burke, 2 vols. (1840); Scenes from Scripture ([?1851?).

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Commentary
Paul Murray, ‘Paul Murray’s top 10 Gothic Novels’, in The Guardian (11 Aug. 2004): ‘Now almost forgotten, the Reverend George Croly was a friend of the Stoker family. In Salathiel the Immortal (1829), there are similarities of predicament between Salathiel and Dracula (as well as with that of Melmoth the Wanderer). Salathiel led the mob which promoted the death of Jesus, in return for which he was condemned to the misery of the undead state. A reshaping of the Wandering Jew legend which underlies so much of the gothic genre, including Melmoth the Wanderer. Like Maturin, Croly was a Church of Ireland clergyman.’ (See online; accessed 20.09.2017.)

References
D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); O’Donoghue consulted a son, Mr Julian W Croly, who assures him that he never heard of a poem, “May Fair”, attrib. to Croly in BML Catalogue.

Irish Literature, Justin McCarthy, ed. (Washington: University of America 1904); gives extract from Salathiel the Immortal; Cataline; and ‘The Island of Atlantis’ .

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I; cites, R. Kerring, A Few Personal Recollections of the late Rev. G. Croly, with extracts from his speeches and writings (London 1861). SUTH, calls Salathiel a smart work in the pre-Victorian manner; Marston is somewhat out of place in the later period, is a three vol. French Revolution narrative in autbiog. form, held up during publication by unspecified ‘severe domestic troubles’. After 1840 life was evidently hard for him.

Belfast Public Library holds Historical Sketches; Irish Eloquence, as ill. by ... Curran (1852); Memoir of the Political Life of Edmund Burke, 2 vols. (1840).

Hyland 224 (Dec. 1996) lists Irish Eloquence, The Speeches of the Celebrated Irish Orators, Philips, Curran, and Grattan ... selected by a Member of the Bar (Philadephia 1833), 178, 370pp.anon. [Hyland 214]. (George Croly), Tales of the Great St Bernard (1st edn. 1828), 3 vols. [copy owned by Frances Ann Vane Londonderry]

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Notes
Thomas Davis: In ‘The Young Irishman of the Middle Classes’, his lecture to the TCD Historical Society, 1839 (reprinted in 3 instalments in The Nation, 1848), Thomas Davis quotes: ‘He waves the sceptre o’er his kind/By nature’s first great title mind’, from ‘Pericles and Aspasia, in Poems (1831 [sic]) - and identifies these lines, used here to adumbrate the ‘peasant boys’ who will soon put to the proof the TCD gentlemen’s title to lead them, to ‘our countryman, himself once a peasant boy’ [George Croly], ascribing it to Pericles [FDA1].

John Philpot Curran: the chapter on Curran in Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1819), concludes with an obituary notice and panegyric by George Croly ‘which elicited our admiration so strongly’ (Vol. I, pp.356-64). Dated 20 October 1817, one a week after Curran’s death on 13th Oct. In it Croly defends Curran against the imputation of too slackly defending the men of 1798 and 1803.

Graham Robb, in TLS [1 April, 1994], reviewing Joanna Richardson, Baudelaire, ‘Baudelaire is often lovingly accused of plagiarism. His unattribute translation of the mawkish “Young Enchanter” by the hymn-writer George Croly is felt to be a representative of the period when he dipped his elegant young toe into the slime-pit of satirical journalism and discovered the poetic potential of hypocrisy.’ NOTE, a Robert Croly, obit. 29 Oct. 1823 at 74 [aetat. LXXXIV], bur. Bath Cathedral.

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