What's all this then?

My name is Victoria Stiles and I'm an Early Career Historian currently doing whatever odd research / consulting / outreach / tutoring jobs come my way. I blog here about some of the interesting texts I've found.
My research focusses on books about Britain and the British Empire which were in circulation in Nazi Germany but you'll also find a smattering of school textbooks, witchcraft beliefs, bog drainage, bemused travellers and weird illustrations that caught my eye.
Translations from German are my own. Comments are currently unmoderated and are mostly spam for leather jackets anyway.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

On a people's failure to ripen

Not strictly within the aims of this blog but still an interesting quote, and one which returns to the odd idea of geographic determinism (is there an official term for this?) which we saw here. The following is taken from Irish Witchcraft and Demonology (1913 / 1972) by St. John D. Seymour, BD. Quite wonderfully, the whole book is available online.

It is often said that Irishmen succeed best out of Ireland; those qualities they possess, which fail to ripen and come to maturity in the lethargic atmosphere of the Green Isle, where nothings matters very much provided public opinion is not run counter to, become factors of history under the sunshine and storm of countries where more ample scope is given for the full development of pugnacity, industry, or state-craft. At any rate, from the days of Duns Scotus and St.Columbanus down to the present, Irishmen have filled, and still fill, positions of the highest importance in every part of the globe as friends of kings, leaders of armies, or preachers of the Truth - of such every Irishman, be his creed or politics what they may, is justly proud.

You hear that Ireland? It's the weather you've been oppressed by all these years, and nothing else. On the other hand, it's still a more positive view of the Irish than in the first textbook we looked at.

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