The Highland Lady and Ireland’s Great Famine

Wednesday, 24 October at 7.00pm

BiblioFiles Lecture

The Highland Lady and Ireland’s Great Famine

Join Dr Enda Delaney author of The Curse of Reason: The Great Irish Famine 1845-52 for an insight into his research on the Elizabeth Smith papers held in the NLI.

The diaries of Elizabeth Smith of Baltyboys, Co Wicklow (The Highland Lady) give a unique account of the day-to-day experience of Ireland's Great Famine. From her privileged vantage point as a resident landlord, she recorded her private thoughts in fascinating detail about the crisis as it unfolded in the late 1840s in her west Wicklow world. Apart from the local dimension, her forthright views on the nature of Irish society provide fascinating insights into the tensions that became so painfully obvious during the Great Famine, between landlords and tenants, Catholics and Protestants, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless.

Admission Free. All welcome. No booking required.


This lecture is the second of a new monthly lecture series entitled ‘BiblioFiles’. The lectures will provide a platform for writers, academics and others who have used the NLI’s facilities to talk about the research and other work they have carried out here.

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