Book ID: CBB899598093

The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during the Great Irish Famine (2021)


Cian T. McMahon (Author)

New York University Press
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 328

The standard story of the exodus during Ireland’s Great Famine is one of tired clichés, half-truths, and dry statistics. In The Coffin Ship, a groundbreaking work of transnational history, Cian T. McMahon offers a vibrant, fresh perspective on an oft-ignored but vital component of the migration experience: the journey itself.Between 1845 and 1855, over two million people fled Ireland to escape the Great Famine and begin new lives abroad. The so-called “coffin ships” they embarked on have since become infamous icons of nineteenth-century migration. The crews were brutal, the captains were heartless, and the weather was ferocious. Yet the personal experiences of the emigrants aboard these vessels offer us a much more complex understanding of this pivotal moment in modern history. Based on archival research on three continents and written in clear, crisp prose, The Coffin Ship analyzes the emigrants’ own letters and diaries to unpack the dynamic social networks that the Irish built while voyaging overseas. At every stage of the journey―including the treacherous weeks at sea―these migrants created new threads in the worldwide web of the Irish diaspora.Colored by the long-lost voices of the emigrants themselves, this is an original portrait of a process that left a lasting mark on Irish life at home and abroad. An indispensable read, The Coffin Ship makes an ambitious argument for placing the sailing ship alongside the tenement and the factory floor as a central, dynamic element of migration history.

Reviewed By

Review Erin C. Barr (2024) Review of "The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during the Great Irish Famine". Terrae Incognitae (pp. 101-103). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Arrizabalaga, Jon
Astorgano Abajo, Antonio
Drouard, Alain
Hippel, Frank Von
McCann, James C.
Miller, Ian
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
The Journal of Transport History
Acta Baltica historiae et philosophiae scientiarum
British Journal for the History of Science
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Medical History
Princeton University Press
New York University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Food and foods
Public health
Carson, Rachel Louise
Tolrá, Juan José
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
Early modern
20th century, early
Great Britain
Universität Dorpat
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
International Red Cross
St. Petersburg. Universitet

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