Nature WritingCathy Fitzgerald
We often refer to Robert Lloyd Praeger, one of Ireland’s great naturalists who knew the Blackstairs area well. You may be interested in his book that was published in 1937 The Way That I went
Robert Lloyd Praeger (1865 – 1953)
Robert Lloyd Prager was one of Ireland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. He was given the gold medal of the Royal Horticultural Society on two occasions and later became its president. He was elected President of the Royal Irish Academy, the British Ecological Society, the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland, the Geographical Society of Ireland and the Bibliographical Society of Ireland, and he was first President of the Library Association of Ireland. An honorary doctorate was conferred on him by Queen’s University, Belfast, Trinity College, Dublin, and the National University of Ireland. He was elected an Associate of the Linnaean Society of London, was an honorary life member of the Botanical Society of the British Isles and in 1948 was first President of the National Trust for Ireland – An Taisce.
The Way That I went (1937) ~ this enduring celebration of the Irish landscape is the result of Praeger’s five years of weekends spent walking an amazing 5000 miles across Ireland’s hills and bogs, swimming through flooded caverns, staying out all night on islands, sifting fossil bones and exploring cattle-tramped tombs. That was when conservation was still in the future, farmers welcomed rambling strangers, bogs were intact, bungalows, cars, ESB poles and chain saws were absent, and the countryside was largely tourist-free. Preaeger was not simply a botanist but, according to Bellamy, also a geologist, zoologist, archaeologist, Irish Naturalist Optimus Omnium. His journey began in Donegal and ended in Kerry.