The great famine: Ireland's potato famine, 1845-51
The Irish famine of 1845-51 was the greatest tragedy of its day. A million Irish men, women and children died, mostly from disease resulting from months of slow starvation. Hundreds of thousands were evicted and left destitute. One and a half million more fled the country, mainly to the United States, taking with them the horrors of hunger, disease and despair.
The Great Famine tells the story of this huge tragedy, from the social background to the famine in the impoverished Ireland of the day, through its devastating course as people died in their starving thousands, to its lasting legacy in fueling the Irish independence movement. The author draws on the oral traditions which have passed stories of the famine down through generations in story and song as well as original letters and first-hand accounts to try to separate myths from history. Percival's book is essential to a deeper understanding of "the Irish question" and the roots of the Troubles today.