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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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28 Julius Rodenberg (1858)


Julius Levi (1831-1914) was born in the small town of Rodenberg, near Hanover, and in 1854 changed his Jewish surname to that of his birthplace, as many German Jews did to avoid being too readily labelled and in an attempt to assimilate. He studied jurisprudence but turned to creative writing and journalism after his doctorate. He spent most of his life in Berlin as a prolific author of novels, poems, travel books and editor of liberal journals including the famous Deutsche Rundschau. His literary sketches as a flâneur through the streets of Berlin made him so popular that a Berlin street was named after him in his own lifetime. His international reputation was such that a report on his death at the age of 84 appeared in the New York Times. He travelled to Ireland in 1858, after which he published several books based on his experiences in Ireland. The first was the account of his Irish travels under the title The Island of Saints – a Pilgrimage through Ireland in 1860 followed immediately by Sir Lascelles Wraxall’s English translation. A collection of Rodenberg’s own German translations of Irish fairy tales, songs and stories entitled The Harp of Erin in 1861 was followed in the next year by the libretto of a lyrical opera which he titled Feramors and which was based loosely on Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh. In 1867 he published what he called “a modern idyll” entitled The Myrtle of Killarney based closely on his encounter with a...

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