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 19
Ten years after the appearance of Burke ' s essay , John Bush in his Hibernia
Curiosa ( 1767 ) tried to evoke the sublime emotions he claimed to have felt while
traveling through the glens of Wicklow . Recalling his passage through the Glen
One man attracted his attention “ by a degree of squalor in his appearance which
I had rarely before observed even in Ireland . ” His clothes were ragged “ to point
of indecency , ” yet the man did not speak . Ritchie asked him why he did not ...
10 The hedgerows of southern England were so thickly planted that , according
to W . G . Hoskins , they “ gave the appearance of an almost continuous wood ,
especially when seen from an eminence . This is perhaps the most characteristic