The Frost Famine of 1740-41 remains a shadowy episode in Irish history, despite being more costly of human life than any other event between the Cromwellian reconquest and the Great Famine of the 1840s.  It remains shadowy because unlike the Great Famine it is not well documented and the oral memory of its impact was lost over time.  The Famine was triggered by a series of weather anomalies that affected most of northern Europe, but the human impact of the strange weather was greatest in Ireland, with Munster and the south Midlands particularly hard hit. 

About the Speaker:

David Dickson is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin and has written very widely on the social and economic history of the Irish regions between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Major books include Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830 (Cork, 2005); Dublin: The Making of a Capital (London & Cambridge, MA, 2014); and The First Irish Cities: An Eighteenth-Century Transformation (New Haven & London, 2021).  He has published a short history of the Frost Famine – Arctic Ireland:  The Extraordinary Story of the Great Frost and Forgotten Famine of 1740-41 (Belfast, 1998).  

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