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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Quoted in Kevin Whelan , “ Settlement Patterns in the West of Ireland in the Pre -
Famine Period , ” 71 . 9 . Ó Gráda , Ireland , 84 - 85 . For MacDonagh , see “
Economy and Society , " 218 , 222 . 10 . Inglis , Journey , 1 : 80 , 81 ; 2 : 311 . 11 .
Samuel Reynolds Hole , A Little Tour in Ireland , 42 , 51 . 29 . William Bilton , The
Angler in Ireland , 1 : 4 - 5 . See also Reid , Travels , 162 , italics original . 30 .
Anna Maria and Samuel Carter Hall , Hall ' s Ireland , 2 : 421 - 22 . 31 . Anon . ,
Anna Maria and Samuel Carter Hall , Hall ' s Ireland , 2 : 421 . See also A .
Atkinson , The Irish Tourist , 115 , italics added ; Anon . , Journal of a Tour in
Ireland during the Months of October and November , 1835 , 68 ; James Johnson
, A Tour ...