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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The Irish Character : A Problem of the Past ? After the Act of Union , as noted
earlier , British travel writers urged upon their readers the importance of
understanding the “ sister island . ” Ireland had to be made a part of the United
Kingdom , not ...
25 Analysis of Ireland ' s problems moved easily from the burden of Paddy ' s
history to a critique of his character . This did not mean ignoring the past . Ritchie
, for example , believed that while the Irish peasantry demonstrated the “ germs ”
... and Evangelical Movement , 230n59 ; on faction fighting , 79 ; on Flynn ' s Half
- Way House , 167 ; on graveyards , 46 , 47 ; Hall ' s Ireland , 204n34 ; on
hedgerows , 132 ; on Ireland as tourist destination , 15 ; on Irish character ,
226n33 ; on ...