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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Putting Paddy in the Picture The Tourist ' s Gaze On a carriage ride from Kilkee to
Carrigaholt in Clare in 1841 , Mary Francis Dickson observed a group of
peasants : “ The varied employment of peasant life — the mingle of poetry and ...
Lady Chatterton was particularly adept at devising such word portraits , often
using the windows of her rooms to provide virtual picture frames for her subjects ,
caught unawares by the gaze behind the glass . During her visit to a manor on
By drawing upon the well - established techniques of genre painting , however ,
the author was able to end this passage by reducing it to a picture . Avoiding
difficult questions about the causes of Ireland ' s tragedy , the writer was free to