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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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6 Friedrich Ludwig von Wachholtz (1810)


Friedrich Ludwig von Wachholtz (1783-1841), an officer’s son, was captain of a company of infantry of the Black Brunswickers that entered English service on the 25th of September 1809. The company was ordered to travel to Fermoy, Co. Cork, in August 1810. Dehnel’s and Wachholtz’s experiences varied in accor- dance with the social class with which they came into contact. Wachholtz, writing of the “native” Irish as against the Anglo-Irish gentry, felt their hostility to the military presence in Fermoy. 6.1 March from Cobh to Fermoy The regiment was allotted the transport ships Robert, The Bro- thers, Titus and Trafalgar, whichever of them had enough room for the soldiers. We would have finished the journey soon if one of the ships had not been such a bad vessel: it lagged behind to such an extent that we often had to lower our sails in the night or even to moor while waiting for it. In the stillness of night the four enormous hulks glided along on the dark waves behind our com- modore on the brig Port Mahon, which showed the way with sus- pended lanterns. On the 28th we sailed at a great distance past the Scilly Islands. On the morning of the 30th we caught sight of the Irish coast and that very afternoon our ships sailed between two high mountains enclosing the narrow entrance of Cork Har- bour, which was formed by nature and is one of the largest and deepest of its kind. We dropped anchor...

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