For those who have never spent a summer in Ireland there remains a delightful experience, for no country is more attractive, unless it be Japan, and no people are more genial or charming or courteous in their reception of a stranger, or more cordial in their hospitality. The American tourist usually lands at Queenstown, runs up to Cork, rides out to Blarney Castle in a jaunting car, and across to Killarney with a crowd of other tourists on the top of a big coach, then rushes up to Dublin, spends a lot of money at the poplin and lace stores, takes a train for Belfast, glances at the GiantÕs Causeway, and then hurries across St. GeorgeÕs Channel for London and the Continent. Hundreds of Americans do this each year, and write home rhapsodies about the beauty of Ireland. But they have not seen Ireland. No one can see Ireland in less than three months, for some of the counties are as different as Massachusetts and Alabama. Six weeks is scarcely long enough to visit the most interesting places.

The railway accommodations, the coaches, the steamers, and other facilities for travel are as perfect as those of Switzerland. The hotels are not so good, and there will be a few discomforts here and there to those who are accustomed to the luxuries of London and Paris, but they can be endured without ruffling the temper, simply by thinking of the manifold enjoyments that no other country can produce.

And Ireland is particularly interesting just now because of the mighty forces that are engaged in the redemption of the people from the poverty and the wretchedness in which a large proportion of them have been submerged for generations.ÊNo government ever did so much for the material welfare of its subjects as Great Britain is now doing for Ireland, and the improvement in the condition of affairs during the last few years has been extraordinary.

In order to observe and describe this economic evolution, the author spent the summer of 1908 visiting various parts of the island and has endeavored to narrate truthfully what he saw and heard. This volume contains the greater part of a series of letters written forÊThe Chicago Record-HeraldÊand also published inÊThe Evening StarÊof Washington,ÊThe TimesÊof St. Louis, and other American papers. By permission of Mr. Frank B. Noyes, editor and publisher ofÊThe Chicago Record-Herald, and to gratify many readers who have asked for them, they are herewith presented in permanent form.


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