Sleepless Night at Ennis

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIII (3) | Start of Chapter

The coachman said he would take me to suitable lodgings, and these lodgings were his own house. His wife told me I must sleep with her if I stopped. It was dark, and I was shown into a chamber where were three beds, and finding a child in the filthy one prepared for me, I wrapped my cloak about me and lay across the foot. At two o'clock the family came into the chamber, and were soon snoring about me, while I kept vigil through the whole night.

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.