Chatterton: Rambles In The South Of Ireland During The Year 1838

Pdf Chatterton, Lady, Rambles In The South Of Ireland During The Year 1838, Vol I, London: Saunders And Otley, 1839
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Pdf Chatterton, Lady, Rambles In The South Of Ireland During The Year 1838, Vol II, London: Saunders And Otley, 1839
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Rambles In The South Of Ireland During The Year 1838 by Lady Chatterton or Henrietta Georgiana Marcia Lascelles Chatterton (1806-1875) was published in two volumes in 1839. It is a 19th century travelogue which vividly describes the beauty of the Irish countryside and popular scenic locations.

Among the places she describes are West Cork, Killarney, Dingle, the Skellig Islands and many more. She also describes town and country life including the lives of the Irish peasantry. Chatterton wrote numerous romantic novels, biographies and travel books. Cardinal Henry Newman, a prominent Anglican convert to Catholicism, was a fan of her writing and praised her later works. She was to convert to Roman Catholicism in later life.

The context of Chatterton's travelogue was an Ireland in transition. It was little over 40 years since the bloody 1798 United Irishman rebellion, the Catholic Relief Act had been passed just over a decade before while the catastrophic Great Irish Potato Famine was yet to occur in the 1840s. Chatterton attempted to show the delights of the country rather than dwell on these realities.

At time time members of the Protestant Anglo-Irish elite dominated the social, political and cultural life of Ireland . The majority of the population were Gaelic Irish peasants who lived in miserable poverty surviving on a diet of potatoes. For much of the 19th century Ireland was on the verge of violent revolution which disturbed many in Britain .

Meanwhile Britain was at peace with its European neighbours and was becoming increasingly industrialised. Progressive reform was transforming society and the middle classes were becoming increasingly wealthy.

International travel was becoming increasingly popular among new and old money. Under the reign of Queen Victoria which began in 1838, the British Empire would eventually cover much of the world. Chatterton's work became immediately popular following publication. In the 19th century Ireland was popular with oil painters, poets, naturalists and enthusiasts of horse riding, hunting and fishing.

Lady Chatterton (née Iremonger) married Sir William Abraham Chatterton, third Baronet, of Castle Mahon, Co. Cork in 1824. He served as MP for Cork between 1849 and 1852 and was High Sherrif of Cork in 1851. The famine deprived her husband of his rents and the couple went to live in Bloxworth, Dorset and later Essex.

Chatterton was widowed in 1855 before marrying Edward Heneage Dering (b. 1827) in 1859. The English Roman Catholic diocesan hierarchy was recreated in 1850 receiving thousands of new converts from Anglicanism after centuries of Protestant persecution since Tudor times. Dering converted to Roman Catholicism in 1865 but she did not do so until 1875.

Chatterton and other female writers were the target of a scathing essay by the novelist George Eliot (real name Mary Ann Evans) entitled Silly Novels by Lady Novelists. Eliot criticised stereotypically female authors of lighthearted romances: "Where there is one woman who writes from necessity, we believe there are three women who write from vanity; and, besides, there is something so antiseptic in the mere healthy fact of working for one's bread, that the most trashy and rotten kind of feminine literature is not likely to have been produced under such circumstances. "In all labour there is profit;" but ladies' silly novels, we imagine, are less the result of labour than of busy idleness."

Lady Chatterton died in Worchestershire , England in 1876.

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