"The Historian is a Haunted Man": Cecil Woodham-Smith and The Great Hunger

"The Historian is a Haunted Man": Cecil Woodham-Smith and The Great Hunger Radharc ar gCúl: A Backward Glance Christine Kinealy In the late 1970s, when I was embarking on my doctoral research, my supervisor at Trinity College Dublin told me that I must extend my dissertation on the Poor Law in Ireland, 1838­45, to include the famine period. He then informed me that I should first read . The second suggestion came not because he liked the book--he did not--but because he believed it was the only comprehensive narrative of the tragedy that had made extensive use of archives in Ireland and England. Reading that book proved both heartrending and enlightening. After only a few pages, it was obvious this book went against the prevailing orthodoxies about the Famine, which lay at the heart of the revisionist interpretations. The opening paragraph made the author's sympathies clear: At the beginning of the year 1845 the state of Ireland was, as it had been for nearly seven hundred years, a source of grave anxiety to England. Ireland had first been invaded in 1169; it was now 1845, yet she had been neither assimilated nor subdued. The country had been conquered not once but several times, the land had been confiscated and redistributed http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Hibernia Review Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

"The Historian is a Haunted Man": Cecil Woodham-Smith and The Great Hunger

New Hibernia Review, Volume 12 (4) – Dec 19, 2008

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Publisher
Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of St. Thomas
ISSN
1534-5815
Publisher site
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Abstract

Radharc ar gCúl: A Backward Glance Christine Kinealy In the late 1970s, when I was embarking on my doctoral research, my supervisor at Trinity College Dublin told me that I must extend my dissertation on the Poor Law in Ireland, 1838­45, to include the famine period. He then informed me that I should first read . The second suggestion came not because he liked the book--he did not--but because he believed it was the only comprehensive narrative of the tragedy that had made extensive use of archives in Ireland and England. Reading that book proved both heartrending and enlightening. After only a few pages, it was obvious this book went against the prevailing orthodoxies about the Famine, which lay at the heart of the revisionist interpretations. The opening paragraph made the author's sympathies clear: At the beginning of the year 1845 the state of Ireland was, as it had been for nearly seven hundred years, a source of grave anxiety to England. Ireland had first been invaded in 1169; it was now 1845, yet she had been neither assimilated nor subdued. The country had been conquered not once but several times, the land had been confiscated and redistributed

Journal

New Hibernia ReviewCenter for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

Published: Dec 19, 2008

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