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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An influential English agriculturalist ( regarded by some as the “ Apostle of the
Agricultural Revolution ” ) , Young was also an early admirer of what became
known as picturesque scenery . 20 Toward the end of the eighteenth century ...
Both words became part of a pastiche of images , ideas , and vocabulary elastic
enough to cover any aspect of nature to which the tourist was drawn . Claude ' s
organization of a landscape , Rosa ' s dark sense of drama and excitement ...
As time went on , the potato became a substitute food whose consumption
allowed small farmers to sell more of their grain and meat to pay the constantly
rising rents . Toward the end of the eighteenth century , an ever - growing
proportion of ...