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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20 This ability to identify , sort out , and rearrange the elements of a landscape
complemented a society that was sorting and rearranging itself in terms of class
and status . It paralleled the ways in which middle - class Britons looked at their ...
Even Ó Gráda admits that for the poorest sector of Irish society , the rural
proletariat , “ immiseration is likely : " 9 Thus , while the overall situation may have
been slowly improving for some , the lowest one - third of Irish society was
Together with New and Correct Maps of the City and County ; and
Embellishments with Perspective Views of the City of Waterford , and the Towns
of Lismore and Dungarvan . Published with the Approbation of the Physico -
Historical Society .