The Curse of Reason by Enda Delaney
The Great Irish Famine

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The Great Irish Famine of 1845–52 was the defining event in the history of modern Ireland. In proportional terms one of the most lethal famines in global history, the consequences were shocking: at least one million people died, and double that number fled the country within a decade. The Great Irish Famine surveys the history of this great tragedy through the testimonies of four key contemporaries, conveying the immediacy of the unfolding disaster as never before.

They are:
John MacHale – the Catholic Archbishop of TuamJohn Mitchel – the radical nationalistElizabeth Smith – the Scottish-born wife of a Wicklow landlordCharles E. Trevelyan – the assistant secretary to the Treasury
Each brings a unique perspective, influenced by who they were, what they witnessed, and what they stood for. It is an intimate and compelling portrayal of these hungry years. The book shows how misguided policies inspired by slavish adherence to ideology worsened the effects of a natural disaster of catastrophic proportions.

‘A significant and sophisticated addition to the historiography of the Famine.’
Christopher Cusack, Times Literary Supplement

‘Delaney’s approach to the story is innovative … (it will be found) in the hands of those who appreciate first-rate history … a very impressive book.’
Breandán Mac Suibhne, Dublin Review of Books

‘… a genuinely original and illuminating perspective on a subject too often dealt with by means of second-hand narrative and unexamined clichés.’
Roy Foster, Professor of Irish History, Oxford University

‘There are many books on this terrible event, but this is one of the most fluent and original. Although it is based on large amounts of primary research its style is accessible and engaging, and the result is a valuable study of a truly harrowing crisis.’
The Times Higher Education Supplement

‘… an extraordinarily important subject … focusing on four fascinating characters.’
Ryan Tubridy

‘Delaney offers an insightful, readable overview of this overwhelming disaster … highly recommended.’
Choice, America's Library Association publication

The Great Irish Famine: Table of ContentsPROLOGUE: THE LAND OF THE DEAD

EncountersLand and peoplePolitics and power
Spectre of faminePeel’s brimstone
A starving nationThe fearful realityProperty and poverty
Victoria’s subjectsExiles


About Enda Delaney

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Born in Dublin, Enda Delaney is currently Reader in Modern History at the University of Edinburgh. In 2010 he was the recipient of a prestigious UK Economic and Social Research Council Mid-Career Fellowship, awarded on the basis of a proven track record of excellence in research and 'exceptional all round scholarly ability'. He has written extensively on the history of modern Ireland and its diaspora, including three scholarly books and two jointly-edited volumes.
Published May 28, 2013 by Gill & MacMillan, Limited. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Curse of Reason

Delaney (modern history, Univ. of Edinburgh; The Irish in Post-War Britain), whose previous work concentrated on 20th-century Irish emigration and diaspora politics, attempts a new approach to the Irish famine of the 1840s by focusing on four individuals: in Ireland, John Mitchel, Elizabeth Smith...

Apr 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The Curse of Reason: The Grea...

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