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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In the words of Marjorie Nicolson , mountains represented “ the rubbish of the
earth , swept away by the careful housewife Nature — waste places of the world ,
with little meaning and less charm . ” By the end of the seventeenth century ...
The mountains of Kerry , looming above the Lakes of Killarney , seemed
forbidding not because of their height , but because of ... Writing of a visit to her
family ' s estate on the Lakes in 1786 , Mrs . Dorothea Herbert described the
mountains as ...
The Whole Illustrated by Remarks on the Baronies , Parishes , Towns , Villages ,
Seats , Mountains , Rivers , Medicinal Waters , Fossils , Animals and Vegetables ;
Together with a New Hydrographical Description of the Sea Coasts . To Which ...