11/9/11

The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849 Cecil Woodham-Smith Narrator: Frederick Davidson



The Great HungerIreland 1845-1849
Cecil Woodham-Smith
Narrator: Frederick Davidson

Duration:   18 hours, 22 minutes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Subject(s): History-Nonfiction
The Great Hunger
Cecil Woodham-Smith


When a narrator has such an awesome voice and can narrate any type book with character and aplomb, it would seem there is little one could say except a breathless magnificent. Frederick Davidson is one such narrator. Winner of many awards, all well deserved and narrator of hundreds of books. I loved his narrations on many books and he is deeply missed by many in the audio book world. Sadly Frederick Davidson died and we will have no more audio books with his brilliant voice lulling us into another world of imagination, history or fantasy.
Frederick Davidson Audiobook Narrator, photo from narratorreviews
Frederick Davidson
Audiobook Narrator

I bought from Audible some time ago The History of the World updated by J. M. Roberts in 7 parts. I admire him so much for doing the Updated version as you can really tell how the throat cancer had affected his voice and took his life in 2008. Nonetheless, I've loved listening to every word. He also read under his real name, David Case, nom-de-plume of Edward Raleigh and James Nelson. No matter what name he recorded under you will immediately recognize his voice. He even made History of the World sound fascinating and interesting. Quite a challenge since most history books are dry and dull. I've listened to some other audio books on history narrated by less talented narrators and promptly dozed off.

So it is no surprise that his narration of The Great Hunger is superior. The scope of The Great Hunger is so vast that it takes some time to absorb and sort all that this amazing book offers. I'm sure (I hope) that most people have some knowledge of the potato famine in Ireland that caused great suffering and death for thousands of people. Those who could, migrated to different countries many went to Canada and the United States. That's just about all most people really know about the potato famine. What I didn't know was some landowners paid for the passage of their tenants just to get rid of them when the government was going to levy a tax on their estates.

The Great Hunger will bring to life in an enthralling way the reality of these terrible years for the Irish people. The disputes and animosity between Great Britain and Ireland are deeper and go further back in history than I had ever realized. The people of today's Ireland seem to prefer the Great Famine be called the Great Genocide because of the bumbling attempts of aid that were too late, too little or never decided on to begin with, was a decided genocide by Great Britain.

Cecil Blanche Woodham-Smith British historian and biographer.
Cecil Blanche Woodham-Smith.
British historian and biographer. 

The Great Hunger is a book that focuses the spot light, on those starving thousands and the horror of how they lived and died. You will end up knowing more about the Potato Famine that you never learned in school. The book covers the years from 1845 to 1849, there had been other potato blights and some starving times but none compared to the 1845-1849 period of time.


Frederick Davidson does such a wonderful narration that you will be glued to your audio device till you come to the final chapters. I advise you eat before you start listening to this book because you will find yourself becoming very hungry. It will wrench your heart out and if it doesn't you need to question your empathy quotient.
unearthed Victorian starvation victims

You can visit the Irish newspaper page here http://www.irishcentral.com/news/One-thousand-famine-victims-found-in-Irish-burial-site-132301653.html with pictures and an article on some graves newly located of famine victims. Please read it. In the twenty first century one would think that hunger in the world would be a thing of the past. I can only say that we have starving people in the world for the same reasons that caused the Irish Potato Famine. Greed of the few elite.
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