I just received two books on John Moore, the first by Carola Oman and the second, much more recent by Janet Macdonald. She doesn't think too much of Oman's book on Moore and while she may be an admirer of Moore, she is not uncritical.
Her conclusion on Moore, partly, states on page 256:
'[Moore] was also rather impatient of being inactive, fussing to do something else at times when the immediate action was over and his role became more administrative than military; this was always attached to his desires to serve his country, and advance his career. Finally, he was seen by some as acerbic, this cannot be denied, but it was only towards people who he thought stupid or ungentlemanly. He did not suffer fools gladly, and did not hesitate to let them know it.'
'A controversial hero he might have been, but he was clearly usually a pleasant person, and he can best be summed up with a brief description which would have pleased him-he was a soldier, dedicated to his profession.'
As he has been brought up here regarding his relations with Sidney Smith, it is interesting that the British army commander, General Fox, sent Moore to find out from Smith the situation ashore with the Massi. 'When Moore went on board the Pompee [the flagship of Smith's squadron] he found that Smith had taken the squadron under a French battery at Cape Licorna which had struck the Pompee thirty-two times and killed or wounded forty-three men, including a lieutenant and a midshipman among the dead. He had then ordered the marines to land and get in the rear of the battery, which they had achieved without loss and took forty prisoners. Moore reflected that if he had done this first he would have saved his men and not risked his ship.'-151.
'During the conversation which followed, Moore reported that Smith spoke as though he was directing a considerable force under distinguished leaders, 'and that nothing but the want of money and arms, which were denied him, had prevented his driving the French from lower Italy and placing Ferdinand upon the throne of Naples.' Moore then explained that Fox had not been able to come himself, but that he considered that the Calabrese who did not side with the French and called themselves 'banditti' or 'briganti' were intent on plunder and murder rather than a love of liberty; their leaders were mostly adventurers from other countries...the defense of Sicily was the main object.'-151-152.
Interestingly, on page 152 it is mentioned that 'Smith had been reprimanded by the Admiralty for accepting the command in Calabria.
Interestingly, Moore's opinon of Maria Carolina, the former queen of Naples, was noted in Moore's Journal as being 'a violent wicked bitch.'