Modern Mermaids

The employment of females here, though I had seen a little of it before, was of that degrading kind, that I felt like revolting from the sight. Men and women go out in boats, to gather sea-weed that adheres to the rocks, which is used for manure. They take a long pole with hooks upon the end, wade in, standing often to the armpits in water, and scrape the weed from the rocks, put it in the boats, and the men take it to shore; the women remaining in the sea often through the day. At night they take a basket-full upon their backs, and bend to their wretched cabins, to boil their potatoes, and lie down upon the straw; and in the morning awake to the same hopes, and go to the same employment. Woman is here worse than a beast of burden, because she is often made to do what the beast never does.[17]

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.