I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Cormac Ó Gráda

A Vermont Yankee On the Famine Road

Asenath Nicholson, a progressive campaigner for temperance and vegetarianism, first met the Irish in the slums of Manhattan. Visiting the country just before and during the Famine, she wrote what Frank O’Connor described as ‘a Protestant love song to a Catholic people’.

Leaping into Darkness

After a decade of modest growth, in 1958 the Chinese authorities launched the Great Leap Forward, a reckless campaign aimed at greatly accelerating economic development. What resulted was, in terms of the number of its victims, the greatest famine ever.

The Wild Harvest

Before the inexorable advance of the conifer, the picking of wild berries on Irish hillsides often provided a welcome seasonal boost in income for poorer rural families.

Rough Justice

Leitrim was fond of money: in his office at Lough Rynn he was Midas in his counting house ... He took over an encumbered estate and debts of about £55,000. At his death his gross rental income was about £30,000 and he had accumulated capital of £180,000 in bonds and cash. In today’s terms that is roughly €20 to €25 million. Most of this fortune he had extracted from an impoverished tenantry.