A Frenchman's Walk Through Ireland 1796 7 by John Stevenson 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by John Stevenson
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A Frenchman's Walk Through Ireland 1796 7 by John Stevenson
John Stevenson
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Translated into English by John Stevenson. This book records the author's travels through the west of Ireland. De Latocnaye had arrived in England in 1792, fleeing the revolution in his own country. Without a word of English, but with introductions to many eminent and well-connected Englishmen, he embarked on his first two tours, first through England and later in Scotland. A Frenchman's Walk encompasses is filled with engrossing observation as De Latocnaye walked for almost a year through at least half of the counties of Ireland during the period 1796-7. Carrying letters of introduction from England meant that De Latocnaye invariably sampled the higher end of the hospitality of Irish society. However, this was not always the case and the travelogue has been praised for its earthy commentary and observations on all manner of Irish people. The author appeared to revel in the lives of ordinary Irish peasants. This is illustrated when he was refused hospitality by a marquis and instead took shelter for the night in the cabin of a poor beggar woman, some half naked children and a menagerie of animals. A considerable part of the value of the Frenchman's Walk is the period in which the tour took place. At one moment the author can be found in protracted conversation with a United Irishman, with whose cause De Latocnaye certainly sympathiszes, and in the next is found dining with a Government Official in Banbridge. Herein lies one of the beauties of De Latocnaye's Walk. Although obviously an educated man of some class, as a foreigner he readily mixed with, and would appear to have been accepted by, all strata of Irish Society. As his tour takes places on the eve of the '98 Rebellion his observations as an outsider on the justices and injustices prevalent in Ireland make for keen social commentary and fascinating reading. 292 pages.

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