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Compassionate Stranger
Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine

Maureen O’Rourke Murphy

Cloth $39.95    |    978-0-8156-1044-1    |    2014

Paper $29.95    |    978-0-8156-1076-2    |    2017

   |       |    2017

ebook 978-0-8156-5289-2


"Compassionate Stranger is not only a notable academic achievement but is also a readable and tantalizing story of one powerful woman’s drive to bring justice to the marginalized."—Irish America

"Splendid biography of a remarkable woman."—Dublin Review of Books

"[Nicholson’s] sharp, compassionate, first-hand accounts of the human dimension of Irish poverty were rooted in direct experience. For this reason her evidence is of exceptional value. Her life and work has found an exceptional chronicler."—Irish Literary Supplement

"Murphy’s beautifully written book is a fitting tribute to the kindness and compassion of Asenath Nicholson. It is also the work of an accomplished historian who has devoted five decades in pursuit of her fascinating—if at times shadowy—subject."—Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies

"This biography affirms Murphy place as the foremost scholar on the life and writings of Asenath Nicholson."—Irish University Review

"It takes one extraordinary mind to know another, and Maureen Murphy’s story of Asenath Nicholson proves it. Had Murphy not unearthed and revealed the tale of Nicholson’s tireless courage and intelligent kindness toward the Irish during the Great Famine, we would not know of a remarkable woman or of a time, place and people indispensable to history. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, Compassionate Stranger is a gift to scholarship, literature, Ireland, and to readers everywhere who seek to understand both the hardship and nobility of the poor."—Roger Rosenblatt, essayist for Time magazine and PBS NewsHour

"Compassionate Stranger is a landmark work of historical exploration and scholarship. Murphy has succeeded in rescuing from undeserved obscurity a woman of fierce determination and extraordinary compassion. Meticulously researched and lucidly written, Compassionate Stranger gives us Asenath Nicholson in full: social reformer, abolitionist, temperance crusader, missionary, and angel of mercy among the Irish people in the hour of their greatest need."—Peter Quinn, bestselling author of Dry Bones

"This compelling biography offers a much needed portrait of one of the most significant commentators on Ireland before and during the Great Irish Famine; Murphy’s welcome and highly engaging study greatly advances our understanding of the political and social contexts which shaped this fascinating figure."—Margaret Kelleher, author of The Feminization of Famine

  Compassionate Stranger

Maureen ORourke Murphy   Maureen O’Rourke Murphy is the Joseph L. Dionne Professor of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership at Hofstra University. She is coeditor of An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama, the editor of Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger and Annals of the Famine in Ireland in 1847, 1848 and 1849, and the director of New York State’s Great Irish Famine Curriculum.

Book Description »

View other series books on Irish Studies.

6 x 9, 440 pages, 36 black-and-white illustrations, 2 maps, bibliography, index

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