Tourism, Landscape, and the Irish Character: British Travel Writers in Pre-Famine Ireland
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.
Results 1-3 of 85
Caesar Otway , engaging a peasant in English , was appalled by his host ' s
seeming unawareness that the next day was Easter Sunday . Fortunately Otway '
s companion spoke Gaelic . When the cottier was addressed in his own language
, it ...
Travel writers liked to compare Paddy ' s cabin with the idealized English country
cottage , so beloved of British painters , illustrators , and poets . Toward the end
of the eighteenth century the English landowner Thomas Ruggles wrote : “ The ...
Touring Ireland , they inevitably compared Hodge , the stereotypical English
countryman , with Paddy . At first glance , Paddy seems to have received higher
marks . In 1791 Bowden found the Irish “ to be friendly , obliging and sincere ; at