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FAMINE DIARY

O Cathaoir, Brendan

2 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0716526557 / ISBN 13: 9780716526551
Published by Irish Academic Press, 1999
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

201pp. Black hardback, dust jacket has minor wear around edges, VG, chapter notes and references, index, A daily record in diary form of the potato crop failure and the English politics leading to the Great Famine in Ireland, 1845 - 47, the great numbrer of deaths and the resulting migration of many refugees to other areas of the British Isles and North America. Bookseller Inventory # wb7094834

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Bibliographic Details

Title: FAMINE DIARY

Publisher: Irish Academic Press

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

About this title

Synopsis:

A unique record of the Great Famine, written with insight, detachment and empathy. Based on a wide selection of sources ñ contemporary newspapers, official correspondence and diaries ñit provides a graphic picture of conditions in the Irish countryside as the crisis developed. It combines analysis and an overview with a focus on the worst-hit areas. The relief efforts are presented where possible, frequently with the help of priestsí letters, from the perspective of the poor.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An unfocused, repetitive account of the horrific Irish Famine (184550) told through newspaper articles, letters, and official documents. In the worst peacetime tragedy of 19th-century Europe, Ireland lost three million people to death and exile. The Great Irish Famine was more than a natural disaster triggered by a blight on the potato cropit constitutes a shocking case study on the failure of British colonialism. The author exhaustively details the devastating impact of the Famine on the everyday lives of Irish families. It's a predictably woeful tale of evictions, hunger, the poorhouse, sickness, exile, and death. Ireland's newspapers, clergymen, and prominent citizens demanded drastic action . The British government, viewing Ireland as a colonial backwater, met the crisis with almost criminal neglect. Britain's official adherence to doctrines of laissez-faire economics worsened the Famine, as did laws preventing Ireland from importing lower-priced foreign grain. The infamous Charles Trevelyan, secretary of the British treasury, summed up Westminster's ``hands off'' attitude: ``It forms no part of the functions of government to provide supplies of food.'' British legislation designed to help the destitute actually encouraged landlords to evict their Irish tenants. The viceroy of Ireland, Lord Clarendon, viewed these evictions and the resulting flood of emigration as a healthy restructuring of the Irish economy: ``Priests and patriots howl over the Exodus,'' wrote Clarendon, ``but the departure of thousands of papist Celts must be a blessing.'' 'Cathaoir, an Irish Times journalist, bases the book on his popular series of weekly newspaper articles. While the diary entries work well individually, the book as a whole is disjointed, shapeless, and repetitive. What's lacking is a consistent narrative focus or larger historical analysis to connect the scores of diary entries into a structural whole. A flawed compilation of individual episodes lacking an authorial point of view or a cohesive narrative focus, it's bound to disappoint the general reader. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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