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The Strangers Gaze: Travels in County Clare: 1534-1950 Book Cover
The Strangers Gaze: Travels in County Clare: 1534-1950
Edited by Brian O Dalaigh

CLASP Encounters the Stranger’s Gaze
The Clare Champion, Friday 25th December 1998

The Stranger's Gaze is the latest publication from Clare Local Studies Project (CLASP), and is sponsored by Clare County Council in celebration of the centenary of local government in Ireland.

This anthology, edited by Brian Ó Dálaigh, brings together over four centuries of superb accounts of County Clare by visitors from Ireland, Britain, the Continent, Australia and America.

These visitors included such notables as Arthur Young, William Thackery and Thomas Carlyle. While their accounts enlighten and entertain, they also provide fascinating insights into the social, religious, and cultural traditions of County Clare. By studying the procession of travellers through the county over the centuries, the histories of urban and rural communities are revealed in a fresh and interesting light.

Visitors brought their own particular prejudices with them which influenced their view of the countryside and the people they encountered. Their descriptions often reveal as much about themselves as they do about the people they observed. This interaction between native and stranger results in a book of complexity and extraordinary human interest.

Whether written in Irish, Latin, French or English, these travellers’ accounts display an exceptional richness and diversity. In almost seventy descriptions of County Clare, the historical landscape is thoroughly explored.

Historical landmarks such as the Cromwellian conquest, the Great Famine and the Land War are described by individuals who either participated in or witnessed these great events.

Soldiers of fortune, map-makers, shipwrecked clergymen, itinerant judges, social reformers, newspaper reporters, all inhabit these pages. They present a view of Clare that is compelling and unique. Richly illustrated with contemporary pictures and line drawings, The Strangers Gaze evokes the atmosphere and character of the country’s past.

The book is richly illustrated, with many rare views of the county. At 400 pages, in hardback cover, it is superb value at £19.95 and is now available at all good bookshops, or from CLASP Press.

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Reviews

The Other Clare,
1999

The Irish Times,
August 1999

Books Ireland,
February 1999

The Magpie,
February 1999

Clare Champion,
January 1999

The Examiner, January 1999