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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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29 Reinhold Pauli (1860)

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In Martin Müller’s opinion, Reinhold Pauli (1823-1882), like Knut J. Clement, belonged to that group of German scholars who subscribed to the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority over Celtic races. “Clement”, he says, believed that the inherent Irish insidiousness can be even spotted by their way of walking, and Pauli followed the idea of Robert Knox (1850) when he notes that the quality of the Celtic race is not good enough for the development of a high civilization. For both, Clement and Pauli, who were strict Protestants, not only the race was responsible for the economic stagnation, but the Catholic Church. Following their attitudes, the “popish” religion reinforces a dull and ignorant mind as well as a lack of drive. (Müller, 4) But Pauli, though an Anglophile, was not as extreme as Clement and expressly ascribed many of Ireland’s problems to the belatedness of Catholic Emancipa- tion. His main interest in life became English history when he began studying history under Leopold von Ranke in Berlin and took up a post in 1847 as house tutor in a well-to-do household in Glasgow. In all he spent eight years living in the United Kingdom, six of them in Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge and two years as the private secretary of the Prussian ambassador in his residence in Carlton Terrace, London, where he came into contact with prominent figures of the British political and literary elites. He wrote extensively on English history while lecturing at the universities of Bonn, Tübingen, Marburg...

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