Perspectives Book Group - The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea During the Great Irish Famine


Presenter: Mary C. Kelly

As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during the Great Irish Famine by Cian T. McMahon.

The oceangoing voyage endured by two million Irish escaping the country’s Great Famine of the mid-1800s endures as a cornerstone of the modern Irish and Irish American historical narrative. This book traces the epic journey undertaken by destitute Irish smallholders across the Atlantic to Boston and New York and other North American safe harbors. Famine emigrants fleeing Ireland strengthened their chances of survival aboard ship in proactive ways, but ongoing dangers persisted on the voyage and subsequently within the urban immigrant enclaves established by the survivors.

This stirring account transports the reader from destitute fields, ports of departure and seafaring rituals to eventual settlement in American cities for the fortunate survivors. The Atlantic crossing that represented a last hope for so many, and imprinted the Irish immigrant community in North America so powerfully, provides a compelling focus in this accessible historical narrative.

Pre-registration is required to receive the book prior to the discussion. Please use the contact information in the event details below to pre-register.

 Join us as we celebrate 50 years of bringing the humanities to your community!

Registration information will be posted soon. 

Event Details


Monday, October 23, 2023 10:00am


130 Durand Road
Randolph NH 03593

Hosted By:

Randolph Public Library

Contact Info:

Randolph Public Library,