The Irish Famine: History and Representation View Full Text


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Chapter Info

DATE

2009

AUTHORS

Margaret Kelleher

ABSTRACT

Historical estimates of the mortality caused by the Great Famine of 1845–51 have varied widely, from a figure of half a million to that of one and a half million.3 In recent years, a figure in excess of one million famine deaths, around 1.1 million, has gained general acceptance among historians.4 The population of Ireland in 1845 was eight and a half million approximately, by 1851 this had declined to six and a half million. ‘When estimates of “natural” growth are taken into account, the “missing” total of some 2,400,000, or more than a quarter of the country’s population’, notes historian Peter Gray, this two and a half million ‘missing’ a combination of famine mortality and emigration.5 While the consensus as to the extent of mortality is welcome, and arbitrates between some of the excesses of nationalistic and revisionist famine historiography (to be discussed later), a fundamental challenge remains for all commentators and students of this event. Is historical comprehension, and imaginative apprehension, possible with regard to the nature and scale of this disaster, the deaths of over one million individuals, and the departure, within six years, of one in four people? More... »

PAGES

84-99

Book

TITLE

Palgrave Advances in Irish History

ISBN

978-1-4039-3216-7
978-0-230-23899-2

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1057/9780230238992_3

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230238992_3

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1041807087


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