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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

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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7 Heinrich Dehnel (1810-1812)

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Heinrich Dehnel (dates of birth and death unknown) and the subsequent memoir-writer Wachholtz were German officers of the so-called Black Brun- swickers who, like Hering of the King’s Regiment, were assigned to enter Eng- lish service after the failure of the campaign against Napoleon in Northern Ger- many. Their respective sojourns in Ireland were brief due to the fact that the Black Brunswickers were soon moved to the Iberian Peninsula. Dehnel was re- lieved to be able to leave Guernsey and go to Ireland after the suicide of a fellow-officer, a young German nobleman who, according to Dehnel, was so alienated by the rigid social division between officer and subaltern as cultivated in the English army that he threw himself off a cliff: 7.1 Two suicides Thus the sojourn on Guernsey was spoilt for me and I was very glad when in May 1810 the Corps boarded ship for Ireland to faci- litate the Hussar Regiment in that country so replete in horses. But I did not leave Guernsey without first picking some flowers to adorn the lonely grave of my dear friend. Peace be with his ashes! After a very pleasant six-day sailing we landed in Cork in the South of Ireland on the 31st of May and we immediately disem- barked and were billeted. On the following day the infantry regiment marched to Fermoy, the Hussars to Mallow. In Mallow we met up with a squadron of the First Dragoon Regiment of the King’s German Regiment and were...

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