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As Europe becomes more homogeneous it is good to remember just how different countries were and how ...
on 14 July 2014
Travel books are of their time and many do not bear reading even a few years after their publication. This one is over eighty years old and has been reprinted many times since so must have something going for it. Perhaps it is simply that the author's style is neither pretentious nor ponderous although some aspects are a bit wearing to modern readers. Mostly I think it is because the Ireland of the late 1920's really was a backwater, impoverished and struggling to establish itself, not somewhere travel writers were rushing to write about. So in that sense this book is a valuable memory of a country which is by comparison almost unrecognisable to-day. As Europe becomes more homogeneous it is good to remember just how different countries were and how even a few miles might make such a difference in customs and accent. For a foreigner's view of how Ireland was at that time this is a reasonable survey.