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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If Ireland is ever to rank among the civilized countries of the world , it must be
through the operation of mighty changes in the present system . ” Yet , having just
visited the Mahon estate at Strokestown in Roscommon , where large - scale ...
saw : “ At present the face of this country , & of its people , look as desolate as if
the whole region was about to be abandoned . ” Several times he found the
bones of unburied Famine victims only half covered by the collapsed roofs of
The Antient and Present State of the County and City of Cork , in Four Books . I .
Containing the Antient Names of the Territories and Inhabitants , with the Civil
and Ecclesiastical Divisions thereof , II . The Topography of the County and City