Travellers' accounts as source material for Irish historians
This book is intended as an aid to Irish historians on the use of travellers’ accounts as source-material. It consists of a discursive introduction, annotations of over 200 accounts from the years 1635 to 1948, a select bibliography and indexes of travellers and places. The annotations consist of the usual bibliographical details, identification of the traveller, the purpose and period of his or her travel, the exact itinerary followed, his or her mode of transport, the traveller’s observations, and persons encountered. Whereas those who have published on Irish travel writing in recent years have generally seen it as another literary genre suitable for development of concepts of literary scholarship (image, identity, influences etc.), C.J. Woods sees travel narratives as an important primary source of information – on transport, landscape, the economy, society, religion etc. This guide is invaluable to Irish local historians as a means of identifying those accounts that refer to the places in which they are interested.
C.J. Woods retired in 2006 from the staff of the Royal Irish Academy, where from 1969 he was employed successively as a research assistant on A new history of Ireland, an editor of the academy’s Proceedings, a cataloguer in its library and finally as a contributor to A dictionary of Irish biography. He is the editor of Journals and memoirs of Thomas Russell, 1791‒5 (1991) and a co-editor of The writings of Theobald Wolfe Tone, 1763–98 (3 vols, 1998–2007) as well as the author of articles on O’Connell and Parnell.