Poverty and Low Rents

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XX (7) | Start of Chapter

This was a fair specimen of all the mountaineers around the residence of O'Connell. But when I inquired the price of ground, and found they were giving but a shilling an acre, for the same kind of mountain land I had seen elsewhere rented for twenty and twenty-four shillings, and no ejectments allowed, I wondered not so much that they were loud in their praises of him, and that I heard the voice of singing and of laughter from cabin and rock, from potatoe-ridge and bog, wherever a man was using his spade or hunting the hare. From the top of the mountain here may be seen the celebrated light-house, on what is called the Skellig-rock; a dangerous place to approach, and where the adventurer must sometimes pass a week before he finds it safe to leave.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.