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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Atlas of the Great Irish Famine: book published

A new book – The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine – has been published by Cork University Press. Edited by John Crowley, William J. Smyth and Mike Murphy from the University's Geography Department, it comprises more than 50 chapters to provide readers with a broad range of perspectives into this pivotal event in Ireland's history.

The book seeks to understand and remember where and why thousands and thousands of Irish people died. It also aims to represent and understand the conditions and experiences of the hundreds of thousands who emigrated from Ireland in those desperate years. Included are case studies of famine emigrants in cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow, New York and Toronto.

A central concern of the Atlas is to try to understand why a famine of this scale should have occurred in 19th century Europe and to reveal, in detail, the spread and consequence across the island.

Apart from presenting an overall island-wide picture, Famine experiences and patterns are presented separately for the four provinces. These provincial explorations are accompanied by intimate case studies of conditions in particular counties, parishes and townlands across the provinces.

The Atlas holds contributions from a wide range of scholars who are experts in their fields – from the arts, archaeology, geography, folklore, history, Archaeology, Irish and English languages and literatures, and several of the authors are well-known in Irish genealogy circles. The Preface is by Mary McAleese (President of Ireland, 1997–2011).

The 728-page book costs €59.00, and is a very likely candidate for my library shelves!