The Irish Hood

Artist(s) : Daniel Maclise (Draughtsman)

Portrait of woman with hooded cape. She is praying, and holding a rosary.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – D. Mc. Clise A.R.A. / H. Robinson. / Printed by Alfred Adlard.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – The Irish Hood.

Image Details

Genre Portrait
Technique Stipple engravings
Subject(s) Manners and customs
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 9.5 cm x 13 cm
Published / created 1837 - 1838

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland Picturesque and Romantic
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. title page
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 r 15
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

There is another peculiarity in the field population, which, perhaps, should have been mentioned in the chapter on Irish vanity. An individual of this class can very rarely in the course of his life time, provide himself with a new suit of clothes; and he determines, while making the purchase, to // do the thing "dacently." Instead, therefore, of the round jacket, or short coat, of the Englishman of the same rank, he provides himself with a long-tailed coat, such as is worn by shopmen in England, and others, who write "Mister" before their name; and even this, instead of being of brown or grey, or some other economical hue, is sure to be of the full dress colours, blue or black. Now, I defy the most humane man in the world, to see a crowd of labourers working in the fields, clothed in the remains of dress suits, surmounted by a hat, — for the Irishman disdains a cap, — often crownless, or minus at least one side of the brim, without a smile on his countenance, whatever compassion there may be in his heart. The women of this class are not otherwise peculiar than by a total absence of the female neatness of dress, which, I am confident, distinguished the raiment of Eve from that of Adam after the fall. The materials of a woman's dress are a matter of no consequence; but there is a certain way of putting it on which distinguishes her in the feminine scale. To account for the existence, or non-existence, of taste of this kind, is very difficult. The Swiss, for instance, are among the best dressed women in the world, — and I do not here talk of the picturesque in their costume; while their neighbours, the Tyrolese, whose country is merely a prolongation of theirs, are among the worst. A French woman, of the class alluded to, is, in general, better dressed than // an English lady; an English girl of the lower rank is in general better dressed — though I dread to say it — than a Scottish lady : but an Irish peasant is not dressed at all — she is covered. When the Irish girl travels, however, if it should be from one cottage to another, she wears a cloak, generally blue, which is, perhaps, the only national dress extant in her country. This is correctly described in our frontispiece; but, at the same time, on a subject of so much importance, it is necessary to say, that almost in every county there are minute modifications in the garment. The cloak of Waterford, one of the most ignorant districts of the island, is gene rally supposed to display the most taste. In the times of chivalry, the Knights were accustomed to wear their ponderous furs, even in summer; and, in like manner, the Irish girl, when she is rich enough to possess a cloak, continues to wear it in the dog-days. The only difference she makes is to throw back the hood in warm weather, and draw it close round her face in cold. I have said, that this is the only article of national dress extant; for, in fact, we see the grey frieze great coat of the men in other countries, as well as in Ireland. In Russia, it is the dress of the common soldiers, when not on duty; and as they are, generally speaking, small, shabby-looking men, their appearance when swallowed up in this garb is ridiculous in the extreme. [pp. 75-77]