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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ably Evangelical writer became distressed when , upon entering a " dirty town ” in
the West of Ireland , he saw the new Roman Catholic “ chapel ” overtopping the
Anglican church in height . It was , he assured his readers , “ an ominous sign .
He found the gap at Barnesmore ( which Ritchie had dubbed a “ measureless
and mysterious gulf ” ) a wild , windy pass enlivened only by gorse blooms .
Although the land improved somewhat as he neared Donegal town , he passed
some of ...
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 .