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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Fearing , perhaps , that British readers would not believe even an Anglo - Irish
clergyman , Rev . Thomas Campbell tried to pass off his Philosophical Survey as
the work of an anonymous Englishman . In the “ Advertisement " page for her ...
Referring to something as " horrific ” but “ by no means unpleasing ” might seem
strange to the reader , Holmes admitted , yet he claimed that he longed to repeat
the sensation . “ The essence of the Burkean sublime , ” according 23 ...
Many of the travel accounts , therefore , contain elements of Stage Irish humor ,
which , while they entertained , also served to emphasize the gap between the
writer and reader , on the one hand , and the Irish peasant on the other . Much of