An Irish Nationalist Perspective on Eastern Europe: William Smith O’Brien’s Travel Journals, 1861-1864


  • Róisín Healy National University of Ireland, Galway



Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Nationalism, Travel-Writing, Orientalism


The travel journals of Irish nationalist politician William Smith O’Brien, challenge the claim by Lar-ry Wolff of a general western European condescension towards eastern Europe from the eighteenth century onwards. Hostility towards British rule in Ireland led Smith O’Brien to celebrate and identify with the Hungarians and Poles in their struggles against their imperial rulers during his travels in the 1860s. He concluded, however, that the Irish suffered more under Britain than these nations under either Austria or Russia.

Author Biography

Róisín Healy, National University of Ireland, Galway

Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at NUI Galway. Her recentpublications include a monograph, Poland in the Irish Nationalist Imagination: Anti-Colonialism within Europe, 1772-1922 (2017), and the edited volumes, 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment (Routledge, 2018) and Mobility in the Russian, Centraland East European Past (Routledge, 2019). She is currently writing a monograph comparingBritish rule in Ireland and Prussian rule in Poland from 1840 to 1918.


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How to Cite

Healy, R. . (2021). An Irish Nationalist Perspective on Eastern Europe: William Smith O’Brien’s Travel Journals, 1861-1864. Studia Historyczne, 61(4 (244), 55–72.