Drumshee series Cora Harrison, Children's Author Dragonfly books

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Famine Secret at Drumshee

Cora Harrison writes:

Famine Secret at Drumshee‘On the hill where the fort and cottage at Drumshee were built, and on the other hills around, are the remains of many cottages – sometimes just a mark on the ground, sometimes a few walls, sometimes a roofless cabin. Before the famine this was a very crowded place, but now most people live at the distance of at least half a mile from their nearest neighbour.

One summer’s evening when the sun was low and slanted across the hill opposite to where I live I saw, under the grass, all the lines of the ‘lazy beds’ where the potatoes were planted. It gave me a great impression of what this part of the west of Ireland was like before 1845.’

‘The four children looked at one another in horror as their father bent down and picked the potatoes he just dug. As soon as he touched them, they broke and the smell was so bad that they all turned their heads away.’

‘One of my other sources of inspiration for this book was finding the plans for the workhouse at Ennistymon (seven miles from Drumshee). The drawings showed the girls’ yard and the boys’ yard and the punishment cell.

‘The punishment cell was a small room with a stone floor, stone walls and a single tiny window at the top of the wall. In the corner was a heap of straw for a bed. In the half-darkness Fiona could see that the walls were running with damp, and the floor was wet under her feet.

She sat on the heap of straw and buried her face in her hands. Already she had begun to shake with cold. Two days! How could she possibly stand two days locked in here!’

Click here to read the first chapter of the book

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World War II Rescue at Drumshee (book 11)


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