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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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2 Karl Gottlob Küttner (1783 & 1784)


13 2 Karl Gottlob Küttner (1783 & 1784) Karl Gottlob Küttner (1755-1789) was born as a parson’s son in the small town of Wiedemar in Saxony, studied in Leipzig and made his living as a much travel- led private tutor in Switzerland, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and, of course, Ireland, where he tutored the children of an Anglo-Irish landlord. The estate is thought by Andreas Oehlke to be located in Clonea, Co. Waterford (cf. Oehlke 1992, 37), but its description by Küttner clearly refers to the Marquess of Waterford’s demesne at Curraghmore some few miles away from Clonea. Küttner’s employer is referred to in his book as Lord T*** on an estate called C***, which are to be read as the Earl of Tyrone, George de la Poer Beresford in Curraghmore Estate near Portlaw, Co. Water- ford, a demesne later described at some length by Knut Jongbohm Clement [KJC, 170f.]. Küttner spent his later years in Leipzig publishing his impressions of the countries listed above. This second career as a travel writer was launched when his friend M. Schenk, decided to publish the copious letters that Küttner had written to him from Ireland in the two consecutive summers of 1783 and 1784. Brought out in time for the Leipzig Easter Book Fair of 1785, the Briefe über Irland (Letters about Ireland) became a bestseller because of their novelty. One reviewer referred to it as a “truly pleasant gift” (cit. Oehlke 1992, 43)...

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