In January, 1847, during the height of the Famine in Ireland, Asenath Hatch Nicholson began her one-woman relief operation in Dublin, organizing a soup-kitchen, visiting homes of the poor and distributing bread in the streets. In a uniquely personal campaign, this remarkable individual travelled the country, aiming to alleviate the starving conditions in Dublin and the West of Ireland and simultaneously 'bring the Bible to the Irish poor'.
Compassionate and searing, 'Annals of the Famine' in Ireland is an extraordinary narrative by an eye-witness who became an integral part of the lives of those she helped to feed and clothe. Her sketches and snapshots, vividly recapturing individuals and events during one of the most momentous periods of Irish history, are introduced and skillfully annotated by a contemporary scholar.
"Asenath Nicholson's account of the Irish Famine is a document of historical importance and contemporary relevance... an American Protestant widow travelling alone through the starved and staunchly Catholic countryside of Ireland, Mrs Nicholson is so unique and original that she seems to have stepped out of a novel. Hers is a true witness and real voice that penetrates the bloodless statistics of Ireland's Famine agony and renders the immense human tragedy at its heart.
She can be read with equal reward by anyone interested in feminist studies, Irish history, philanthropy, the Victorian age, cultural anthropology or the history of religion. It is remarkable that so striking and unusual a narrator has been neglected for so long. Mrs Nicholson's time has come. Attention must be paid." - Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve
|Publication date||1 Nov 1998|