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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40 Ritchie insisted that what the Irishman needed most was not political liberty ,
the abolition of tithes , or repeal of the Union , but “ in a single word . . . HOPE . ” It
was hope , Ritchie argued , that gave the English peasant ambition . He could ...
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Picturesque Tourism in Ireland
Putting Paddy in the Picture
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