Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

Further Light on Conrad's Sister-in-Law Dolly Moor

Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

Further Light on Conrad's Sister-in-Law Dolly Moor

Article excerpt

In An EARLIER note we identified Jessie Conrad's sister as Dolly "Moore" on the basis of the extant envelope of a letter from Conrad addressed to "Mrs Moore | Cambrai | Mtunzini | Zululand | U of S. AP [= Union of South Africa]. Further research allows us to rectify what turns out to be a slip of the pen as regards his sister-in-law's surname Moor, not Moore - and to provide some details about the life of Alice Dora George (born 4 January 1884).

"Dolly" George, as her family called her, married (John) Harold Harwar in East Ashford, Kent, during the first quarter of 1910. Her husband died on 23 November 1917 during what the Times leader of that date called "The Glorious Battle of Cambrai," his death being commemorated on the Cambrai War Memorial at Louverval. A member of the London Scottish Regiment, Harwar held the rank of private. (Conrad's extant letters make no mention of the death of this brother-in-law in active service.)

Dolly Harwar remarried after her husband's death, wedding G(eorge) H(arold) (follow") Moor (1885-1975) of South Africa. After attending Merchiston Preparatory School, he enrolled at Michaelhouse Preparatory School (1898-1902), both in Pietermaritzburg (Natal), going on to London Technical College to study mining engineering. He found employment in coal-mining concerns in Derbyshire, and in 1907 married Evelyn Sybil B. Desmond in Chesterfield (Registrar General). They separated around 1914. Moor lived in London and served in France during the war, taking part in the Battle of Ypres (Tarr 1999: 142). He first met Dolly Harwar in Derbyshire, where she was working as a governess for his employer. They re-met sometime after the collapse of his marriage to Evelyn Desmond, married in late 1918, and went to South Africa. (Archives there do not permit establishing the year of their arrival, presumably not long after the war's end.) At Mtunzini, Moor purchased land and made a living as a sugar farmer. The Moors later ran a trading store and dairy at Crow's Nest, Blackridge (Zwartkopskloof), a suburb of Pietermaritzburg.

Dolly had no children. At the time of her death on 21 November 1949, "Hollow" Moor was retired. Alice Dora Moor was given a Catholic funeral service at St Mary's Catholic Church, Pietermaritzburg, and buried at Mountain Rise Cemetery. Moor later remarried (a Mrs Muriel Morrison). He died on 27 August 1975 and was buried at St Andrews in the farming hamlet of Hideo te (Tarr 1999: 142).


We are grateful to the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) for a grant from the Juliet and Mac McLauchlan Bequest for funding research by Mrs P. …

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