[Sir] John Carr

Life
17721832; Middle Temple, and bar; travelled throughout Europe and issued successful travel-books incl. The Stranger in Fance (1803), The Stranger in Ireland (1806), and Descriptive Travels in the souther and Eastern part of Spain and the Balearic Islands, in the Year 1809 (1811); he was knighted by Duke of Bedford in Dublin, c.1806; became K.C.; his Irish excursus was answered satirically by an Irish writer in Analysis of a New Work of Travels Lately Published in London (1806); also published some poetry. ODNB

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Works
  • The Stranger in France : or, A Tour from Devonshire to Paris / illustrated by engravings in aqua tinta of sketches, taken on the spot, by John Carr, Esq. (London: Printed for J. Johnson, No. 72, St. Paul 's Churchyard. Sold also by W. Hannaford, Totnes; Bryer, Printer, Bridge Street, Black Friars 1803);
  • The Stranger in Ireland; or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts in the Year 1805 (London: Phillips 1806), 530pp., ill. with full-out pls. [infra]; Do. [in America as] The Stranger in Ireland; or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts in that part of the Country in the Year 1805 [3rd US edn.] (NY 1897), xi, 334pp.; Do. [rep. edn.] (Shannon: IUP 1970); also The Stranger in Ireland [ ... ] ; to which is now first added an appendix, containing an account of Thomas Dermody, the Irish Poet [Early American Imprints; 2nd Ser., No. 12271] (NY: I. Riley & Co. 1807; rep. [microfilm] 1990).
  • Descriptive Travels in the souther and Eastern part of Spain and the Balearic Islands, in the Year 1809, by Sir John Carr, K.C. (London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster Row; Faulder and Rodwell, Bond-street, and J. M. Richardson, Cornhill; [printed] by J. Gillet, Charles Street Hatton-Garden / 1811), ill. [engravings of Granada (front.), Cádiz (pp.112-13), Valencia (pp.254-55), Ermita de Santa Anna, Montserrat (pp.316-17), La Granja d'Esporles (pp.356-57), and port.; tp. available at ]

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The Stranger in France (1803) is available in the Gutenberg Project online as etext/20296 [published Jan 1007; accessed online, 28.09.2010.]

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“Sonnet Upon a Swedish Cottage”
Written on the Road, Within a Few Miles of Stockholm

Here, far from all the pomp ambition seeks,
Much sought, but only whilst untasted praised,
Content and innocence, with rosy cheeks,
Enjoy the simple shed their hands have raised.

On a grey rock it stands, whose fretted base
The distant cat’ract’s murm’ring waters lave,
Whilst o’er its mossy roof, with varying grace,
The slender branches of the white birch wave.

Around the forest-fir is heard to sigh,
On which the pensive ear delights to dwell,
Whilst, as the gazing trav’ller passes by,
The grey goat, starting, sounds his tinkling bell.
Oh! in my native land, ere life’s decline,
May such a spot, so wild, so sweet, be mine!

—See “The Poets’ Corner” on The Other Pages - online [accessed 24.09.2010].


Anthology: extract(s) from Carr are included in John P. Harrington, The English Traveller in Ireland: Accounts of Ireland and the Irish Through Five Centuries (Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1991).

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Bibliographical details
A Stranger in Ireland, or a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that country, in the year 1805 (London: Richard Phillips 1806), 530pp. [17 plates, 3 being pull-out]; Tips. 1-XXIII. engravings [fold-out]. Besides tours of buildings and topographical landmarks, points of interest in chap. headings as noted in contents are, Dublin beggars; retarding words gee and woo in discussion; mendicant wit; dress of the low Irish; Jews; defective state of ecclesiastical establishment; deplorable state of the coin; absentees; patrician eloquence; Barry the painter [IV]; Swift and Stella [V]; Black-rock [ill.]; cook, maid, whisky, and priest; Irish mode of executing criminals; the late Lord Children [VI]; Rosin; magnanimity of a peasant; native drollery; father Murphy, an extraordinary character; Dermody [IX]; Ledwich [IX]; Literary passion of the Irish [XI]; literary society in Ireland [XI]; duelling [IX]; innocence and licentiousness illustrated, natural delicacy, cleanliness, bravery, precipitation of speech [XII]; bulls and blunders, shall and will, favourite word elegant [XIII]; Doctor Donolly [XIII; antiquities of Grose [XV]; Irish and Carthaginian languages [XV]; lyrical quality of Irish language, extracts from bards [XVI]; anecdotes of Carolan, specimens of his poetic genius [XVII]; anecdotes of Ross-castle, O’Sullivan’s cascade, King Donahue [XVIII]; Mill-street [XIX]; Kilkenny theatricals [XX]; late Dean Kirwan [XX]; Lord Avonmore; Curran’s eloquence [XXII]; the theatre, performers, gallery wit (Dublin) [XXIII]. Chap. XXI is devoted to ‘Grattan, striking specimens of his eloquence and style of writing, with a plate of Tinnahinch, his seat. ‘The last wish of my heart with respect to the incorporation of Ireland with Great Britain is, that the description given by that great master of lyric poetry, Horace, of an union of another kind, may become every day more and more applicable to these twin stars of the western hemisphere. [Felices ter et amplius ... suprema citius solvet amor die, Liber 1, Ode 13]. [END]

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Commentary
Constantia Maxwell, Strangers in Ireland (1954) p.222ff.: Carr’s Stranger in Ireland was parodied by Edward Du Bois in a small volume entitled My Pocket-Book, or Hints for a Ryghte Merrie and Conceited Tour in Quarto to be called ‘The Stranger in Ireland in 1805. With humorous plates. In suppressed stanzas of ‘Childe Harold’, Byron refers slightingly to him as ‘Green Erin’s Knight and Europe’s Wandering Star.’ Maxwell comments, Carr is pompous and facetious. He gives far too many quotations from other people’s books and relies to a greater extent than he should on other people’s opinions ... yet his books were very popular in their day ... [valuable for their illustrations’]. He was knighted by John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, who was Lord-Lieutenant in 1806-07.

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Richard Kain, Dublin in the Age of William Butler Yeats and James Joyce (Oklahoma UP 1962; Newton Abbot: David Charles 1972), on The Stranger in Ireland: ‘The mixture of pedestrian description, prosaic detail, and tedious narrative has served to fill many books before and since Carr’s time. [] Carr had written successful books on France and the Baltic, but now his subject was Ireland. Within a year an amusing satire appeared, in the form of directions for writing a book like Carr’s. The gibes are delicious. An author is advised to proceed in just the same was as the Englishman [6] had. One must praise other writers and refer to one’s own books. It will make friends and help sales. One must attempt joviality, tell jokes even though they are not very funny, use plenty of platitudes, write elegantly, and be sure to omit nothing tedious or silly. Above all, learn the art of padding. Copy generously, list everything you can “it will make many quarto pages.”’ / Mr. Carr, now Sir John, was very unhappy, and doubly so when his suit against the publisher of My Pocket Book was lost in court. Even less fortunate was one Richard Twiss. Ireland was bewildering to him, for there he experienced what he called “intellectual regress”; that is, the more he heard, the less he understood! He received a strange commemoration, his picture being used to decorate chamber pots manufactured in Dublin. An indecent epigram on the theme was forthwith written by Lady Clare, the Lord Chancellor’s wife.’ (pp.6-7.)

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References
Hyland Books (Jan. 1998) lists The Stranger in Ireland; or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts in tha part of the Country in the Year 1805 (3rd US edn. NY 1897), xi, 334pp.

De Burca, Cat. No. 44 (1997) lists John Carr, Esq. The Stranger in Ireland, or, A Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that Country, in the year 1805. With 16 fold. sepia tinted aquatints and coloured engraved map of the Lakes of Killarney. [rep.] Shannon, IUP. 1970. 4to. x, xv, 530pp.; v. good in buckram [85].

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Note: “The Poets’ Corner” gives Sir John Carr the bio-dates 1732-1807), selecting “Sonnet Upon a Swedish Cottage” [as online].

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Kenny’s Bookshop (Dec. 2001) lists Analysis of a New Work of Travels. Lately Published in London.. London: Phillips, 1806. Rebound in modern cloth. Foxing throughout. 55pp. 75.00

Morris Collection (University of Ulster Library) holds The Stranger in Ireland (1806) 530pp.

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Quotations
Abject scholars: Sir John Carr astonished that a poor boy ‘under an appearance of the most abject poverty ... was well acquainted with the best Latin poets, had read most of the historians, and was then studying the orations of Cecil’. (The Stranger, 2 vols., 1806, p.380; quoted in W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition, IAP 1976; 1984).

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Notes
List of Poets: Stranger in Ireland contains a list of Irish poets which D. J. O’Donoghue used as a basis for his collation in Poets of Ireland.

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