German Travel Writers’ Narratives on Ireland from Before the 1798 Rising to After the Great Famine- Texts Edited, Translated and Annotated by Eoin Bourke
19 Jakob Venedey (1843)
Venedey (1805-1871) was a journalist and historian. A democratic republican and anti-Prussian activist from the Rheinland, he was imprisoned in 1832 for holding an allegedly inflammatory speech at the Hambach Festival of that year. He escaped from the prison in Frankenthal and settled in Paris. While there, he was commissioned by the Brockhaus publishing house to travel to Ireland and report on Daniel O’Connell and the Repeal Movement. He spent some three months in Ireland during the exciting Repeal Year, following O’Connell from one monster meeting to another. His position is radically opposed to that of Clem- ent. The fact that he is an outspoken champion of Repeal explains why he was shadowed by British agents the length and breadth of Ireland. William Makepeace Thackeray, who in the same year of 1843 had written his own Irish Sketch Book, was piqued by Venedey’s patent dislike for England and his corresponding love for things Irish. In a review of Venedey’s Irland penned for the Morning Chronicle in March 1844, Thackeray kills two birds – France and Ireland – with the one stone in a passage of compressed stereotyping: Herr Venedey has come to England, and has lived, no doubt, in the solitude of London chop-houses, and Aldelphi lodging ditto. He has come from that land of Cockaigne, Paris, in which the foreigners take the first bait, and has come to this busy land to look upon us Londoners in our daily treadmill. We have not said three words to him, but allowed him...
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