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.
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Anglo - Irish writers , such as T . Crofton Croker and the Halls , often printed
alleged exchanges between themselves and Irish peasants , with the latter ' s
speech usually rendered in dialect . Although use of the peasant ' s brogue in
The Halls characterized their Irish car drivers as “ for the most part , a thoughtless
and reckless set of men , living upon chance , always taking the world aisy , '
having no care for the morrow and seldom being owners of a more extensive ...
Hall ' s Ireland , 1 : 36 , 1 : 37 . The Halls ' comments on the Irish character were of
particular importance . Not only were their travel books popular , but Anna Hall ,
through her numerous short stories and novels , was accepted as an “ expert ...