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«Poor Green Erin»

German Travel Writers’ Narratives on Ireland from Before the 1798 Rising to After the Great Famine- Texts Edited, Translated and Annotated by Eoin Bourke

Edited By Eoin Bourke

The area of 19 th -century German travel writing on Ireland has received widespread scholarly attention over the years in treatises in both English and German, but these efforts were directed largely at fellow-scholars and formed part of an academic discourse on travel, interculturality and alterity. This book, on the other hand, is conceived of more as a reader for the general public than as an academic treatise, presents a surprisingly extensive body of comments drawn from German and Austrian sources from between 1783 and 1865 and lets them «talk for themselves». Some of these remarkably empathetic and well-founded eye-witness accounts were translated into English already in the 19 th century by people like Sarah Austin and Sir Lascelles Wraxhall, but the editor has re-translated them to remove varying degrees of antiquatedness of formulation and has added other accounts that were hitherto largely unknown to the non-German-speaking reading public.
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5 Friedrich Hering (1806-07)


Friedrich Hering (date of birth unknown, died in 1832) was one of the many military personnel who were exiled after the Electorate of Hanover fell to Napoleon in 1803 and who joined the King’s German Legion, a corps formed by King George III of England out of his “affection” for Hanover. After a failed British expedition to Germany in 1806, about 5,000 officers and soldiers were dispatched to Ireland to do garrison duty there. Hering functioned as an army surgeon in Dunmore Barracks (cf. C.J. Woods 1987, 311). 5.1 Arrival in Dublin At last on the 9th of April [1806] we were ordered to board ship immediately and we sailed off, but soon had to drop anchor be- cause the wind died down. The ship that I was on was not really a transport vessel equipped for many horses but rather a packet boat which otherwise transported passengers and occasionally some horses from Liverpool to Dublin. On the whole it was quite well divided up, and the cabin was located in the middle where movement was least extreme; but it was somewhat too small for the 40 men and 21 horses that were aboard. The weather re- mained pleasant and mild. At night when a favourable wind rose we weighed anchor but did not get very far, for the surface of the sea once more became like a mirror. We had a constant view of the Welsh coast, whose high mountain peaks were still covered in snow. At last...

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