German Travel Writers’ Narratives on Ireland from Before the 1798 Rising to After the Great Famine- Texts Edited, Translated and Annotated by Eoin Bourke
26 Fanny Lewald (1851-52 in Britain)
Fanny Lewald (1811-1889) was a very widely read author in the German ter- ritories – her books were among those most frequently borrowed from public lending libraries. There is no evidence that the travel-writer, novelist and campaigner for women’s rights was ever in Ireland, but two short passages from her writings are included here because of the fact that in her correspond- dence with her friend Moritz Hartmann, who wrote to her from Dublin, and in her two-volume Travels through England and Scotland (1851-52) she showed a keen interest in the Irish in Britain. The first passage is important insofar as it reminds us that at the time when she wrote her observation after the Great Famine the majority of Irish lived outside of Ireland, mainly in Britain or North America, often in conditions as dire as those they left behind in Ireland. 26.1 The London Irish The material to write about here [in London] is so plentiful and varied – every day one sees and experiences new things – that next to all the good and pleasant sights the vile ones will inevitably manifest themselves. And so it was when I recently made my way home from the British Museum through an area quite close to it named St. George Bloomfield, where almost exclusively Irish people live in the narrowest, most ruinous laneways imaginable, surrounded by the immense richness of resplendent London. The overcrowding, the filth, the abject poverty in these streets make one’s hair stand on end. Dozens of half-naked children...
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