In the short space of 5 years more than a million Irish died of starvation and of the diseases which accompany malnutrition. 800,000 Irish emigrants sailed for the United States and Canada. They took with them few possessions. But they took disease, particularly typhus, and a deep, hatred of Britain. For they were convinced that it was Britain that was responsible for the appalling conditions from which they were fleeing.
Cecil Woodham-Smith who has won a unique reputation with two best-sellers as an author of accurate history made exciting and readable to thousands, describes the Irish disaster which affected the history of Ireland, North America and England.
Among the characters she draws fascinating portraits of sir Charles Trevelyan, Lord John Russell, O'Connell the Liberator and William Smyth O'Brien. But most vividly brought to LIFE are the starving peasants, their women and children scattered like a flock of famished crows over the fields devouring raw turnips.