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The Great Irish Famine and Social Class

Conflicts, Responsibilities, Representations


Edited By Marguerite Corporaal and Peter Gray

The sesquicentenary of the Great Irish Famine saw the emergence of seminal, often revisionist, scholarship addressing the impact of the catastrophe on Ireland’s economy (including its relations with Britain) and investigating topics such as the suffering of the rural classes, landlord and tenant relations, Poor Laws and relief operations. The Great Irish Famine and Social Class represents a significant new stage in Irish Famine scholarship, adopting a broader interdisciplinary approach that includes ground-breaking demographical, economic, cultural and literary research on poverty, poor relief and class relations during one of Europe’s most devastating food crises. The volume incorporates a comparative European framework, as well as exploring the issue of class in relation to the British and North American Famine diaspora.

Marguérite Corporaal is Associate Professor of British Literature at Radboud University Nijmegen. She is the author of Relocated Memories of the Great Famine in Irish and Diaspora Fiction, 1847–1870 (2017) and co-editor of Irish Studies and the Dynamics of Memory (2017), Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine: Transnational and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2014), Recollecting Hunger: An Anthology (2012) and Traveling Irishness in the Long Nineteenth Century (2017).

Peter Gray is Professor of Modern Irish History and Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of The Irish Famine (1995), Famine, Land and Politics (1999) and The Making of the Irish Poor Law, 1815–43 (2009). He is co-editor of The Irish Lord Lieutenancy, c.1541–1922 (2012), Poverty and Welfare in Ireland, 1838–1948 (2011), Victoria’s Ireland? Irishness and Britishness, 1837–1901 (2004) and The Memory of Catastrophe (2004).