German Travel Writers’ Narratives on Ireland from Before the 1798 Rising to After the Great Famine- Texts Edited, Translated and Annotated by Eoin Bourke
4 Philipp Andreas Nemnich (1806)
Philipp Andreas Nemnich (1764-1822) was a professional travel writer and en- cyclopædist from Hamburg. He travelled through England, Scotland and Ireland from the Spring of 1805 to the Spring of 1806, a short time after Robert Emmet’s abortive rebellion. He found that “since the last uprising of 1803 there is complete quiet, in Dublin as in all of Ireland” [PAN, 659]. But he is not blind to the existence of political abuses and economic mismanagement that could once more lead to unrest. As the subtitle of his book indicates, the travelogue has mainly to do with “products, factories and trade”, for which he draws copi- ously from Thomas Newenham’s A Statistical and Historical Enquiry into the Progress and Magnitude of the Population in Ireland (1805), but in his general introduction he makes some noteworthy if contradictory political statements. It is hard to tell whether his occasional ambivalences are meant as irony, but it is obvious that like almost all of the travel writers after him he is aghast at the ex- tremes of poverty that he encounters. 4.1 The Act of Union Until recently Ireland was treated by the British Government as a subjugated nation, but these circumstances came to an end with the beginning of the present century. By dint of the well-known Act of Union, Ireland is united with Great Britain since 1 Janu- ary, 1801, and shares with the mainland the same rights and privileges. The entire state is now named the United Kingdom of Great...
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