Tourism, Landscape, and the Irish Character: British Travel Writers in Pre-Famine Ireland

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University of Wisconsin Pres, Feb 24, 2012 - History - 280 pages

Picturesque but poor, abject yet sublime in its Gothic melancholy, the Ireland perceived by British visitors during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries did not fit their ideas of progress, propriety, and Protestantism. The rituals of Irish Catholicism, the lamentations of funeral wakes, the Irish language they could not comprehend, even the landscapes were all strange to tourists from England, Wales, and Scotland. Overlooking the acute despair in England’s own industrial cities, these travelers opined in their writings that the poverty, bog lands, and ill-thatched houses of rural Ireland indicated moral failures of the Irish character.

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 Picturesque Tourism in Ireland
21
2 Historical and Religious Landscape
32
3 Putting Paddy in the Picture
51
4 British Tourists and Irish Stereotypes
63
5 Tourism and the Semeiotics of Irish Poverty
80
6 Irish Povety and the Irish Character
105
7 Misreading the Agricultural Landscape
127
8 Discovering the Moral Landscape
147
9 Landscape Tourism and the Imperial Imagination in Connemara
162
Conclusion
195
Notes
201
Bibliography
233
Index
257
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About the author (2012)

William H. A. Williams is professor emeritus of history at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is author of many works including Inventing Irish Tourism, The First Century, 1750–1850 and the award-winning ’Twas Only an Irishman’s Dream, and editor of Daniel O’Connell, The British Press and the Irish Famine: Killing Remarks, by Leslie A. Williams.

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