At Home and Abroad
In between their novel-writing, Somerville and Ross took several trips arond Ireland and abroad and published many accounts of their travels. They saw it as an effective way of making money, and it also honed their literary skills. Having to work to tight deadlines for periodicals and forced by their editirs to keep things 'at all times humorous', they flirted with fact and fiction in their accounts, and subsequently developed a recognisable literary style. This humorous style was very influential in their later Irish R.M. tales.
Between 1890 and 1893, Somerville and Ross made at least four significant tours, through Connemara (1890), Bordeaux (1891), Wales (1893), and Denmark (1893). They subsequently published accounts of these journeys in various periodicals and at least three of them eventually ended up in book form.
They both later made a tour of the Aran Islands in 1895, which Ross originally wrote up for Harper’s magazine and then republished as “An Outpost of Ireland” in Some Irish Yesterdays (1906). Somerville made three more significant tours after Ross’s death in 1915, one to Sicily (1920), one to Spain in (1926) (sic), and one to the United States (1928).