Famine Diary: Journey to a New World

James J. Mangan, Author, Gerald Keegan, Author Irish American Book Company $10.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-86327-300-1
In 1847, Gerald Keegan, a schoolmaster in County Sligo, and his bride, Aileen,stet commas joined a mass emigration from famine-stricken Ireland to Canada. Although the couple survived an appalling sea passage, during which starvation, overcrowding, disease and death were rampant, both died at the quarantine station on Canada's Grosse Ile. Keegan recorded the horrors of this journey in intelligible and moving prose. Yet in editing the journal, Mangan, a teacher and De La Salle Brotherwhat is this? An order of Christian brothers in Canada, has unacceptably compromised the text, inserting fictitious names, changing dates and altering passages needlessly. For example, in one of only 10 pages quoted directly from the ``original journal'' (Mangan claims to have a photostat, but does not specify whether it is of the document itself or of a previously published but censored version) Keegan blames Canadian politicians for neglecting the refugees; Mangan's rendition blames Britain. Thus, on some intriguing points, such as the claim that Ireland's ghastly famine was known to the sultan of Turkey and the emperor of China but not to the Pope, there is no way to be certain who is speaking--Keegan or Mangancopy: Brother James?see change. Stet Brother. But is it Brother James or Brother Mangan? sg /Mangan without brother seems fine to me/pk . (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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