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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2 Applying Foucault ' s concept to tourism , John Urry maintains that the tourist ' s
gaze is “ as socially organized and systematized as is the gaze of [ Foucault ' s ]
medic . " Since the “ locals ” are part of the locale , they are among the sights to ...
British Tourists and Irish Stereotypes The tourist - native relationship is built on
the perception of types , Dennison Nash suggests . Strangers to each other ,
hosts and guests both resort to the shorthand of stereotyping . Stereotypes are
Much of the comic material came from Hibernian turns of phrase that popular
entertainments had trained tourists to expect and to recognize . Few travel writers
bothered to consider “ proverbial Irish wit ” from the perspective of the peasantry .