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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Spencer T . Hall , Life and Death in Ireland as Witnessed in 1849 , 87 , italics
original . See also John Barrow , A Tour round Ireland , through the Sea - Coast
Counties , in the Autumn of 1835 , 195 ; John Carr , The Stranger in Ireland , 519
See also Binns , Miseries , 2 : 415 , italics original ; Lydia Jane Fisher , Letters
from the Kingdom of Kerry in the Year 1845 , 65 . 23 . Carr , Stranger in Ireland ,
519 , italics original . Middlemen - Protestants and Catholics — were principal ...
With that in mind John Barrow claimed that the horses and car he hired at
Oughterard were like the monarch ' s writ : “ they would not run ” ; A Tour round
Ireland , through the Sea - Coast Counties , in the Autumn of 1835 , 218 , italics
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