Medicine, science and improvement, 1845–1922
Author: Ian Miller

Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland: Medicine, science and improvement, 1845-1922 is the first dedicated study of how and why Irish eating habits dramatically transformed between the Famine and independence. It also investigates the simultaneous reshaping of Irish food production after the Famine. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the book draws from the diverse methodological disciplines of medical history, history of science, cultural studies, Irish studies, gender studies and food studies. Making use of an impressive range of sources, it maps the pivotal role of food in the reshaping of Irish society onto a political and social backdrop of famine, Land Wars, political turbulence, the First World War and the struggle for independence. It is of interest to historians of medicine and science as well as historians of modern Irish social, economic, political and cultural history.

Nutritional discourse and dietary transformation
Ian Miller

1 The chemistry of famine: nutritional discourse and dietary transformation ሉሊ In 1845, approximately 45 per cent of the Irish population depended on the potato as a dietary staple, consumed with buttermilk, water, fish or whiskey.1 In stark contrast to countries such as Italy where, as David Gentilcore demonstrates, state bodies actively encouraged potato consumption, British politicians and social commentators criticised Ireland’s mono-crop existence, routinely blaming it for the country’s intransigent lack of socio-economic development.2 Political economists

in Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland
Consumption, production and resistance during the First World War
Ian Miller

8 Anticipating a second Famine: consumption, production and resistance during the First World War ሉሊ We ought to have a well understood national policy in regard to our food supplies at time of war, a policy which our public men and the Press ought never to let us forget, consideration of which would influence legislation, the work of the Department, and the Farmer’s Association. If we don’t formulate such a policy we may starve sometime, and the sometime may be no distant date.1 This gloomy foreboding, published in the Irish Homestead in 1911, expressed

in Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland
Tea, bread and nutritional decline
Ian Miller

4 The decaying post-Famine body: tea, bread and nutritional decline ሉሊ Did Irish diet improve following the Famine? This culturally charged question troubled many late nineteenth-century contemporaries who referred back to the pre-Famine era as one when the Irish populace had enjoyed fuller nutritional health. In contrast, for critical observers, the poor had since existed in an unremitting condition of physical and psychological decay that seemed to be perpetually worsening. National dietary habits significantly realigned following the Famine. In their Feast

in Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland
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The relief of distress
Virginia Crossman

4 Famine echoes: the relief of distress For the majority of Irish people, the experience of famine was a memory not a reality in the second half of the nineteenth century. For those in the west, however, where land holdings remained small and agriculture continued to be heavily dependent on the potato, periodic harvest failures and economic downturns meant that famine and disease remained constant spectres. The poor law could provide only limited protection against economic insecurity in these regions since rateable values were low and levels of poor relief

in Politics, pauperism and power in late nineteenth-century Ireland
Open Access (free)
Television and the politics of British humanitarianism
Andrew Jones

such an analysis, focusing on how television coverage of major disasters in the global South shaped the historical and political trajectory of humanitarian aid in Britain. The chapter does so through a case study of British television coverage of a deadly famine in Ethiopia in 1973, which despite causing a huge number of fatalities had gone unreported in the Western media. The famine was suddenly

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Abstract only
David Hardiman

In their medical work, the missionaries had sought to gain sympathy though their compassionate response to personal crisis. A similar principle was invoked during famines, but now the crisis was all-encompassing, and the need for help became exponentially greater. A great famine that began in 1899 brought radical changes in the mission to the Bhils. Existing staff fell ill and

in Missionaries and their medicine
Abstract only
T. M. Devine

13 AFTER THE FAMINE I Between 1846 and the early 1850s the Highlands escaped a calamity on the Irish scale but at the expense of a huge increase in emigration and a profound weakening of the crofting economy. Contemporary observers in the 1850s were of the unanimous view that there had been a progressive deterioration in the condition of the people since the potatoes first failed in 1846. The shortage of potatoes in the first year of the blight forced the widespread slaughter of pigs and throughout the famine cattle were sold off to buy meal. In Creich, in Mull

in Clanship to crofters’ war
John Herson

5 Refugees from the Famine ‘The fever wards were full’1 The Irish population of the Stafford district quadrupled between 1841 and 1851.2 The Irish Famine had an immediate impact on districts like Stafford as well as on the better-known cities like Liverpool. The flood of emigrants began to hit Liverpool and other western ports in December 1846, and by the beginning of 1847 the refugees had reached Staffordshire. A correspondent to the Staffordshire Advertiser wrote that ‘It is painful to see these poor fellows in their wanderings through the country. Their

in Divergent paths
Conciliation and division
Christine Kinealy

3313 Repeal and Revolution.qxd:Between Growth&Security.qxd 21/4/09 10:07 Page 60 2 ‘A death-dealing famine’: conciliation and division In 1845 an event occurred that, in the short term, pushed Repeal to the back of the political agenda and, in the longer term, transformed the social and demographic profile of Ireland. It also changed the political relationship between Ireland and Britain. In September of that year, a previously unknown blight appeared on the potato crop in Ireland and within a few months it had destroyed approximately half of the harvest

in Repeal and revolution