An anthology featuring a wide variety of travel writing on Ireland and its inhabitants over the past two centuries, focusing on travel writing as a literary form.
First anthology of British travel writing to Ireland. Presents a series of key social and political events from the perspectives of British, American and French travellers to the country. Annotated, edited extracts many previously unseen.
Jonathon Raban has described travel writing as 'literature's red-light district'. It defies people's beliefs. It confuses expectations, crosses disciplinary boundaries, and is linked to ethnography, journalism and biography, yet for all that has managed to remain not only a visible but also an increasingly popular literary genre. The Tourist's Gaze: Travellers to Ireland, 1800-2000 will make a valuable contribution to this growing field. It includes extracts from well-known writers such and Thackeray, Bo¯ll and Chesterton, but also presents less familiar, but equally fascinating figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; figures such as the impoverished Prince Puckler-Muskau, who travelled Britain and Ireland in search of an eligible heiress, and Anne Plumptree, who's travels were as much personal explorations as geographical ones.Each extract is self-contained and prefaced by a short biography where available. The text also includes an introductory essay outlining some of the most recent developments in travel theory, while at the same time placing it within an Irish context. This anthology presents illuminating snapshots of Ireland over two hundred years. It also provides insights of varied perspectives of the travellers themselves, a perspective often influenced by contemporary political events such as the Great Famine, Home Rule, the Civil War and the Troubles. The book leaves the reader with an enduring image of Ireland's ability to fascinate and stimulate visitors through two centuries.