The Great Irish Famine surveys the history of this great tragedy. First-hand written accounts by four real people are used to give a complete and personal picture of the historic tragedy.

  • Elizabeth Smith - An English lady who was a landlords wife in Wicklow. 
  • John MacHale - the Catholic archbishop of Tuam, who was hated by British politicians and his many Irish enemies though much loved by his devoted flock for his radicalism and concern for the poor.
  • Sir Charles Trevelyan - the infamous Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, the senior official who oversaw relief efforts in Ireland.
  • John Mitchel was an Irish nationalist whose passionate views on British government in Ireland helped create a deep sense of grievance among the Irish diaspora, especially in America. His most famous judgment may be 'The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight. But the English created the Famine.'

Each of these characters brings a unique perspective, influenced by who they were, what they witnessed, and what they stood for. Human failings are evident in the actions and personalities of each of them:  whether this be Trevelyan's unflinching commitment to administrative rectitude over and above all other considerations, Smith's instinctive abhorrence of Catholicism, MacHale's disputatious nature, or the ferocity of Mitchel's hatred of everything English.

By retelling the well-known events of the Irish Famine through the lives and experiences of these four very different individuals, this allows for an intimate perspective on these tragic years.

More Information
ISBN 9780717160105
Author Enda Delaney
Publisher Gill Books
Publication date 15 Jul 2014
Format Paperback
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The Great Irish Famine: A History in Four Lives

New paperback edition of The Curse of Reason. This is a first-hand witness account of the The Great Irish Famine 1845-1852.

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