The first photographs of Ireland date from 1840 when no one could have forseen the catastrophe that was about to unfold there. The Great Famine was to kill over a million Irish poor between 1846 and 1851, and force an even greater number to flee the horrors of their homeland. In the following decades, Irish political life was dominated by the struggle for land rights, for Home Rule, and ultimately for independence. As that story unfolds in this book we encounter inspirational leaders and impatient rebels, and their campaigns of persuasion and violence. We glimpse too the injusticies that inspired them, and above all the mass eviction of destitute peasants from their homes and lands by the heavy hand of the law. Yet these images do much more than tell a gripping political story. They give an insight into a people, a landscape and a lost way of life. Covering the first century of Ireland in the era of photography, this enthralling visual history brings the past vividly to life.