From scenic tours to terror tours : British travellers to Ireland, 1930-2000

Glenn Hooper was, until recently, a Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Irish & Scottish Studies. He has research interests in Irish Studies generally, but especially in the cul-ture and writing of nineteenth and twentieth-century Ireland, as well as in travel and postcolonial literatures. He is coeditor of Ireland in the Nineteenth Centur' [Four Courts, 2000], editor of Harriet Martineau's Letters from Ireland [Irish Academic Press, 2001], and of The Tourist's Gaze: Travellers to Ireland 1800-2000 [Cork University Press, 2001], and coeditor of the forthcoming Irish and Post-colonial Writing [Palgrave Macmillan, August 2002]. He is currently working on a study of nine-teenth-century Ireland for the Field Day Monographs series, and has recently joined Aberdeen Univer-sity's School of English and Film Studies as Lecturer in Irish Literature".

Although the 19th century British traveller to Ireland was often taken with romantic and picturesque views, contrasting Ireland with the raw industrialism of much of Britain, an arguably more pronounced version of scenic Ireland took place in the early to mid 20th century. The Anglo-Irish and Civil wars of the early 1920s obviously deterred many a visitor travelling to Ireland, but from 1930 onwards, and more especially in the 1950s, when Southern Ireland especially seemed like a ha-ven for those recently released from warfare, Ireland became emphatically associated with the « Scenic Tour ». This paper will chart some of the representations and texts that emanated from this period, by writers such as Gibbons and Vyvyan, but it will also show how that Scenic complacency was shattered at the end of the 1960s by civil disturbances in the North of Ireland. This paper will chart the historical development of contemporary travel writing on Ireland, explore the tensions between these two modes of address, and explain some of the appeal that lies behind Ireland newest export: « Terror Tourism ».

Chercheur: 

Session: 

15h