2023 in review
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
6M ago
This was a busy year, with lots of exciting events and projects. Bear with me while I blow my trumpet just a little; I don’t think most of us stop and take stock of our successes nearly often enough. The biggest achievement of the year was the launch of the exhibition I co-curated for the ..read more
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Cynthia Longfield, Madam Dragonfly
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
”I find machetes so useful in the jungle, don’t you?” Cynthia Longfield, quoted in The Times, 9 July 1991 Cynthia Longfield, ‘Madam Dragonfly’, was born in London in 1896. Her home schooling there was interrupted by regular visits to her maternal grandparents’ farm in Cloyne, Co. Cork, where she enjoyed roaming the countryside. Her early love of ..read more
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The Nineteenth-Century ‘Wedding Tour’ 
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
A wood fire, a heap of congratulatory letters, and the smiles of her who every day ncreases [sic] my dependence on her love, made our breakfast table delightful – Charles Sneyd Edgeworth, 5 Sept 1813 The post-wedding holiday that we now call a ‘honeymoon’ emerged in the late eighteenth century, when couples from the European ..read more
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New exhibition: Ireland and the Birth of Europe
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
Ireland and the Birth of Europe, an exhibition I co-curated for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs with Dr Damian Bracken of University College Cork, was launched by Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD in Cork on 28 April. The exhibition is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs cultural programme to mark fifty years of Ireland’s ..read more
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Mending her health: Irish Women in Eighteenth-Century Spa
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
The small mountain town of Spa in present-day Belgium had been well-known for its mineral springs from the sixteenth century, but its popularity with visitors soared in the eighteenth century. The town grew, and developed amenities like the Parc de Sept Heures, assembly rooms and a casino. It attracted the wealthiest families in Europe, as ..read more
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Catharine Parr Traill, Author of Natural Histories for Children
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
Catharine Parr Traill (1802-1899) was a prolific author who published children’s books, emigrants’ guides, and popular natural histories. Under the name Catharine Parr Strickland, she published at least 15 moral tales and natural histories for children between 1818 and 1831.  Catherine had a great deal of knowledge about natural history, and in her books she ..read more
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Anna Maria Chetwood – a forgotten 19th-century Irish novelist?
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
Anna Maria Chetwood was the author of at least two anonymously-published novels published in the 1820s. She was also not the author of at least two anonymously-published novels published in the 1820s. Despite my efforts to confirm either one of these statements, she remains for me Schroedinger’s novelist. There are layers and chains of contradictory ..read more
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A Derry Merchant’s Memoir, 1830s
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
While doing some other research in Library and Archives Canada some years ago, I came across a reference in the catalogue to an anonymous diary describing a journey from Derry to Canada in 1830. Intrigued, I took a copy of the manuscript and filed it away for later. But the author’s anonymity bothered me, as ..read more
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Sarah Curran’s Previously Unknown Poetry
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
Sometimes, research leads to unexpected places. My 20-year obsession with the nineteenth-century travellers and diarists Martha and Katherine Wilmot has introduced me to some fascinating Irish, English and Russian women of the era. Women like Princess Dashkova, friend and confidante of Catherine the Great, first woman president of a learned academy (Russian Academy, 1783), and ..read more
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John Lee’s Walking Tour of Ireland, 1806–07
Historianka » History of Travel
by Historianka
1y ago
On 31 July 1806, John Fiott, later known as John Lee, left London to embark on a seven-month walking tour of Ireland, England and Wales. I wrote about his life, and about his walking tour of England in Wales in earlier posts. This post will look at the six months he spent walking around the southern half ..read more
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