The Great Irish Famine

4 Apr, 2019 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss why the potato crop failures in the 1840s had such a catastrophic impact in Ireland. It is estimated that one million people died from disease or starvation after the blight and another two million left the country within the decade. There had been famines before, but not on this scale. What was it about the laws, attitudes and responses that made this one so devastating?

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  • Cormac O'Grada No other episodes
    Professor Emeritus in the School of Economics at University College Dublin
  • Niamh Gallagher No other episodes
    University Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History at the University of Cambridge
  • Enda Delaney No other episodes
    Professor of Modern History and School Director of Research at the University of Edinburgh

Reading list

  • Atlas of the Great Irish Famine
    John Crowley, Michael Murphy and William J. Smith (eds.) (Cork University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Great Irish Famine: A History in Four Lives
    Enda Delaney (Gill & Macmillan Ltd, 2014) Google Books →
  • Ireland's Great Famine and Popular Politics
    Enda Delaney and Breandan Mac Suibhne (eds.) (Routledge, 2016) Google Books →
  • The Great Irish Potato Famine
    James S. Donnelly (Sutton Publishing, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Great Famine: Essays in Irish History
    R. D. Edwards and T. D. Williams (eds.) (Lilliput Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • The Irish Famine
    Peter Gray (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1995) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge History of Ireland, Volume 3, 1730-1880. Vol. 3
    James Kelly (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion
    Christine Kinealy (Palgrave, 2001) Google Books →
  • Subjects Lacking Words? The Gray Zone of the Great Famine
    Breandan Mac Suibhne (Cork University Press, 2017) Google Books →
  • Ireland's Great Famine: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
    Cormac O Grada (University College Dublin, 2006)
  • Famine: A Short History
    Cormac O Grada (Princeton University Press, 2010)
  • The Great Famine: Ireland's Agony 1845-1852
    Ciaran O Murchadha (Continuum, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849
    Cecil Woodham-Smith (Penguin, 1991) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m0003rj1

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Auto-category: 941.5082 (History of Ireland, 19th century)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1845, the potato crop failed in Ireland, struck by a blight which came from North America.