First published in 1975. Using estate records, local newspapers and parliamentary papers, this book focuses upon two central and interrelated subjects – the rural economy and the land question – from the perspective of Cork, Ireland’s southernmost country. The author examines the chief responses of Cork landlords, tenant farmers and labourers to the enormous difficulties besetting them after 1815. He shows how the great famine of the late 1840s was in many ways an economic and social watershed because it rapidly accelerated certain previous trends and reversed the direction of others. He also rejects the conventional view of the land war of the 1880s, arguing that in Cork it was essentially a ‘revolution of rising expectations’, in which tenant farmers struggled to preserve their substantial material gains since 1850 by using the weapons of ‘agrarian trade unionism’, civil disobedience and unprecedented violence. This title will be of interest to students of rural history and historical geography.
James S. Donnelly, Jr. The Land and the People of Nineteenth-Century Cork: The Rural Economy and the Land Question. Routledge, 1975.