Mr. Gildea, too, had a fine establishment for spinning and weaving. Here are employed about seven hundred, mostly women, spinning and hand-skutching, and their earnings were three shillings and three shillings and sixpence per week. The yarn was spun by hand, and the weaving by a spring shuttle. The table-linen and sheeting would compete with any manufactory in any country. Yet this valuable establishment was doing its last work for want of encouragement—want of funds; and machinery is doing the work faster and selling cheaper, though the material is not so durable. What can the poor laborer do; willing to work at any price, and begging to do so, yet cannot be allowed the privilege. Mr. Gildea kept a number employed, and employed to a good purpose, many of whom may at last starve for food.

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

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This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.